Contemporary Russian dance is diverse: it may be folk, modern, jazz, hip-hop.
But what really left an imprint on the international history of dance is the Russian ballet. Its grandiose reputation was coined by the famous Russian Ballets Russes. It was one of the most significant and exciting dance companies of the 20th century. Directed by the great Russian impresario Sergey Diagilev (1872—1929), the company has changed the face of ballet and has paved the way to its contemporary state.
In its 20 years of existence, encompassing phenomenal successes and crippling financial problems, controversy and recognition, the dance company has seen collaborations with many renowned artists, composers and designers. The list includes Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bakst, Picasso and Matisse, to name just a few. Together they not only transformed dance, but influenced our perception of ballet—dance, music and art combined to create a never before seen performance.