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Russian Ballet... worth it?

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Hi All,

 

My wife and I will be in Saint Petersburg as a part of the princess cruises in late may. We're wondering if a one has taken a tour that included the Russian ballet? If you did did you think it was worth the fact that you might have for rush off from some other tour to get to that? Or was it not quite worth the risk of missing some other tour or thing that can be seen? It looks like you'd have like an hour and a half between her day time tour and ballet tour.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Josh and Joyen

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Initially I planned to see a ballet in St. Petersburg. So I check quite a few websites and forums, As far as I know there are two leading theaters in this city. Mariinsky (another name is Kirov ballet) and Mikhailovsky. Both of them are really good but locals obviously prefer Mariinsky. Tickets were rather expensive, I don't remember the exact cost but somewhere about $100 or more. It was one of the reasons why we decided not to go, There are a few other ballet theaters in the city but the level of performancies are much lower.

 

Jess

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That is difficult. I have gone 2x (both times included in my trips to Russia not on a cruise line). So I did not have to pay. I have no clue if they were the top ballets or not. I have also seen "Russian ballets" in my city where they claim most of the dancers had belonged to the Bolshoi at one time -- though I think there was some controversy about that.

 

If you are really into ballet - I would say go for it. For me, it wasn't one of my top memories by any means. I would love to go to the Faberge Museum or are there evening visits to Catherine's Palace on your list?

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That is difficult. I have gone 2x (both times included in my trips to Russia not on a cruise line). So I did not have to pay. I have no clue if they were the top ballets or not. I have also seen "Russian ballets" in my city where they claim most of the dancers had belonged to the Bolshoi at one time -- though I think there was some controversy about that.

 

If you are really into ballet - I would say go for it. For me, it wasn't one of my top memories by any means. I would love to go to the Faberge Museum or are there evening visits to Catherine's Palace on your list?

 

 

 

We went to see the ballet in St. Petersburg when we were there on the Regal Princess in May 2016. We attended a performance of Swan Lake at the Mikhailovsky Theater. It was extraordinary and worth every penny. We booked a private tour and had a wonderful tour all day and then went to the ballet in the evening. Russian ballet really is a level above anywhere else. If you have any more questions just ask. I can recommend a tour guide if you would like. We saw more and it was cheaper than an excursion.

 

 

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My husband who has never seen ballet before in his life enjoyed the production. It was on my wish list to see the Marinsky and it was a highlight for both of us. We also really enjoyed the folk show as well they performed songs and dances from all over Russia

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I stayed on after my tour to see Swan Lake as an add on. We weren't rushed at all and had time for a leisurely meal before being taken on to the ballet. It's worth it for the luxurious theatre alone, nevermind the performance. (This was with Alla rather than a ship's tour, and they were excellent.)

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We went last June and wouldn’t trade the memories! Once in a lifetime opportunity.

One word advice...GO!

 

 

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They are very different in my opinion. The ballet is a very romantic beautiful dance to beautiful music. The Folk dance is a much faster type of music and the type of dance for example, where they fold their arms and kick out as they are low to the stage. (Can’t even imagine how they do it)

The two types of dance are almost opposite or each other.

Try to search for Videos of each so you can see for yourself!

 

 

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We did the 'tourist' ballet through the cruise line. Although the performers were members of the Marinsky school, they were juniors, not the principle dancers. You should also be aware that the Russian version of Swan Lake has a different ending from the usual one (because 'Stalin was very softhearted'!!).

 

We found it odd to sit through 2 quite long acts, then a very short (maybe 10 or 15 minute) 3rd act, but we were warned about that. We still enjoyed it very much :)

 

If this is likely to be your only trip to Russia, I would say 'go for it' unless it would prevent you doing something you would prefer (such as the evening Hermitage or folk show).

 

As has been said, the folk dancing is very different from the ballet (think of 'Cossack' dancing).

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Russian ballet at the Bolshoi it is definitely not like any other in the world but check on the class of the ones offered by the cruise in St Petersburg, those may be touristy and not the best experience.

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Russian ballet at the Bolshoi it is definitely not like any other in the world but check on the class of the ones offered by the cruise in St Petersburg, those may be touristy and not the best experience.

Agree - the Russian ballet season is not held during the summer months. Locals love their Russian ballet and attend during the regular ballet season - the summer season is primarily geared towards tourists.

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I’m on Regal Princess in July, does Princess have a local show on the ship the first night? If so is it a folk or ballet?

 

 

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We went to see the ballet in St. Petersburg when we were there on the Regal Princess in May 2016. We attended a performance of Swan Lake at the Mikhailovsky Theater. It was extraordinary and worth every penny. We booked a private tour and had a wonderful tour all day and then went to the ballet in the evening. Russian ballet really is a level above anywhere else. If you have any more questions just ask. I can recommend a tour guide if you would like. We saw more and it was cheaper than an excursion.

 

 

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Would appreciate knowing who you used.

 

Thank you

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I stayed on after my tour to see Swan Lake as an add on. We weren't rushed at all and had time for a leisurely meal before being taken on to the ballet. It's worth it for the luxurious theatre alone, nevermind the performance. (This was with Alla rather than a ship's tour, and they were excellent.)

 

We did this also and it was great. The performers were teens but very talented and of course the music was divine. It was a very long day and we found ourselves flagging at intermission. It was the Summer Solstice and we arrived back to the ship around 11:00 PM and it was still light out.

 

As it happened, the ship offered a Russian Folklore Dance troupe as the ship's show that evening. We caught it on the TV a day or so later and thought it was boring. The ballet was much better.

 

Sue

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Sounds fair to me but there must be some reason why people rave about ballet in St.Petersburg but not Copenhagen or Stockholm.

 

I assume she was referring to the genre, not the quality.

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No! Save your money. Tourist performances are poor. You will be really tired from the day time touring. Forget the ballet and get some sleep.

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No! Save your money. Tourist performances are poor. You will be really tired from the day time touring. Forget the ballet and get some sleep.

 

Why? Do the principal performers not perform during White Nights?

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We saw Swan Lake while on an overnight in St Petersburg, performance was lovely and the theater was beautiful. Enjoyed it very much....however, if given a chance for a do over I would have selected one of the night time “private” museum tours

 

 

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Why? Do the principal performers not perform during White Nights?

 

I think you are on our sailing of the Serenity.

Our private guide booked us for the ballet at the Aurora theatre. I am asking her to change that to ballet at the Mikailovsky (sp?) theatre based upon reviews I've read. Surprised they are doing the Nutcracker - in June! It seems that in summer the "tourist" ballets are not performed by the major dancers, but rather more likely students.

Having done this about 15 years ago though, it is something interesting to see - especially the theatres (thus I don't want to go to the aurora, which is inside some hotel).

Edited by gwesq

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I think you are on our sailing of the Serenity.

Our private guide booked us for the ballet at the Aurora theatre. I am asking her to change that to ballet at the Mikailovsky (sp?) theatre based upon reviews I've read. Surprised they are doing the Nutcracker - in June! It seems that in summer the "tourist" ballets are not performed by the major dancers, but rather more likely students.

Having done this about 15 years ago though, it is something interesting to see - especially the theatres (thus I don't want to go to the aurora, which is inside some hotel).

 

Saw that as well. Performing the Nutcracker must be some play on the summer solstice or something. We opted for Paquita, which while not a particularly famous ballet is playing at the Mariinsky that weekend and should be interesting. Hopefully, whatever dancers they put out there will be good.

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You either love ballet or you don’t. To me seeing the Kirov Ballet at the Mariinsky Theater was worth the $200 per ticket that I paid. I’m not usually a splurger but the ballet was the entire reason for the trip to Russia.

Unfortunately the top companies and performers are on vacation in July and August. I’d been warned so I travelled in early May.

But thats par for the course across Europe. Only you can decide if a ballet is worth your time.

 

 

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