Ballet Tour

  • Start Time 7:00 PM
  • Duration 4.5 Hours
  • Tour Category Artistic
  • Guide Language English



Ballet in Russia reached its peak, becoming one of the visiting cards of the country and Russian art. 

The first ballet performance in Russia took place on February 17, 1672. Starting from that very date ballet was becoming a flourishing form of art of Russia. Under Peter the Great, dances appeared in Russia in the modern sense of the word: minuets, counter-dances, etc. were introduced. A decree was issued according to which dances became the main part of court etiquette, and the noble youth was obliged to learn dancing. On May 4, 1738, the French dance master Jean Baptiste Lande opened the first school of ballet dance in Russia - “Her Imperial Majesty's Dance School”.During the reign of Catherine the Great, ballet in Russia gained even more popularity and was further developed. From the era of Catherine II, the tradition of serf ballets appeared in Russia, when landowners started up troupes composed of serf peasants. Under Nicholas I, Russian ballet continued to shine and occupied the leading place in relation to other types of stage art. Ballet absorbed all the attention of the theater administration and critics. In the reign of Alexander II in Russian ballet, the advancement of domestic talents begins. A number of talented Russian dancers adorned the ballet stage. During the reign of Alexander III, ballets were given at the Mariinsky Theater twice a week - on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Now it is possible to trace the develompent of the Russian ballet via participating in this very tour!


  • Russian Ballet (Hermitage Theater)
  • Theater of Musical Comedy - St. Petersburg
  • Aurora Ballet Hall - St. Petersburg
  • Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) - Saint Petersburg

Russian Ballet (Hermitage Theater)

Russian Ballet

Art can have the deepest and purest connection with anyone without considering their nation or language. Ballet is a bizarre form of art which can touch the people's soul without using a single word.

Russian Ballet

Ballet is a form of group dancing performance which its participants start their training from child age to sometimes late teenage years of their life to be able for performing on stage. The difference between Ballet and other forms of dance would be its mixture of Classical music and narrating a tale by developing some unique dance moves. However that the birth of Ballet would be during the Italian Renaissance but, it was in France and Russia that the Ballet developed and presented to the world.

Russian Ballet

Ballet was not existed in Russia not until, 1689. During the Peter the Great's father, Aleksey Mikhailovich reign that some French ballerinas and choreographer invited to Russia to perform a ballet during Mikhailovich's wedding. However, not until Peter the Great's reign who wants to combine Western Culture into the Russian's life, Ballet didn't recognize as Russian culture and never performed in Russia. He invited some Ballet dancers and choreographer to Russia for both performing and teaching this form of dance to Russians. Although not like the other countries in the world, in Russia, Ballet was not for entertainment only, Russia had intended to train and form westernized young noble Russian without neglecting their own culture. It was in early 19th centuries that theater doors opened to the public for anyone who can afford Ballet show tickets. There was even some wooden bench called Rayok which was inexpensive for people with low income to be able to watch Ballet without a high cost.

Russian Ballet

It was early 20th centuries that Russia with the help of its former foreign Ballet masters such as French man Charles Didelot, and also by combining the Russian folklore dance into the Ballet and pieces of Russian musicians introduced a new style of Ballet named Russian Ballet to the world. Establishing a few Ballet school with foreign teachers and choreographing a few Ballet with Russian literature leads Russian Ballet to be at the same level as French and Italian Ballet in the world which praised by many critics around the world. The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake are a few examples of the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky's many works.

Russian Ballet

Many Russian or foreign dancers and ballerinas have risen to fame from Russia and its excellent Ballet companies, and the reason is their point of view toward Ballet which is unlike the rest of the world. Ballet is a form of entertaining performance for the whole world but Russia which is considered as a high-class action and has a noble social status in Russia and for this particular reason, they make it quite difficult for people to enter and graduate their Ballet academies to deliver world-class ballet dancers and ballerinas to the world. Rough diets, hard training programs from child ages, being away from the families, and having an attractive face are only a few parts of the challenges that students face before entering and during in the Russian Ballet academies.

Russian Ballet

There are lots of Ballet companies and academies in Russia which are famous in the world, and one of them is the Mariinsky company which dates back to around 150 years ago. The Bolshoi Theater of St. Petersburg established, in 1783, by Antonio Rinaldi in Carousel Square to be the beginning of opera and musical performances in Saint Petersburg.   From the start until, 1842, the Bolshoi experience its golden age with lots of great performances held on its stages such as symphonies by Mozart and romantics operas. It was in 1842 that Bolshoi Opera Company relocates to the Circus Theater which was in front of the Bolshoi Theater building. The Circus Theater destroyed in a fire, in 1859, and another modern theater constructed at its place which named the Mariinsky after the Alexander II's wife. Until 1894, all the companies in Bolshoi Theater gradually moved to the Mariinsky including Bolshoi Ballet Company which performed on Bolshoi's stage till the last day.

Russian Ballet

In Soviet Russia, Ballet treated very poorly, and many choreographers and dancers left Russia during that time. However, even in those circumstances, many memorable ballets such as The Red Poppy, a remarkable adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and Ivan the Terrible Ballet were performed on private or small stages. The Mariinsky Theater went under huge restoration, between 1968 to 1970, and changed into the construction that we know today. The Bolshoi Theater which also destroyed in a fire several times and reconstructed again is now the Saint Petersburg Conservatory at the time.

After Soviet reign, Ballet gained its former glory in Russia again. Russian is one of the most influential and powerful countries in Ballet industry in the world. Though that France never admitted it, many critics believe that Russian Ballet even inspired French Ballet as well as other worlds.

Ballet by successfully mixing delightful dance moves, charming music, and fascinating play in both entertaining and artistic point of view is a complete set for all kinds of taste in the art. That's why it's an extremely valuable form of art in Russia and all around Europe in general. You might only enjoy music, or simply wants to see a play, or you consider that dance is the preferred form of performance in all, either way, you would positively love Ballet for sure.

Ballet just like theater plays has several acts in one performance. In classical ballet, there would be at least two acts, and each act is around, 40 to 50 minutes long, therefore, each Ballet would be at least about two hours. For instance, Swan Lake which is one of the masterpieces of Tchaikovsky's fine works based on an old German tale is a three-act ballet. Act 1 and 2 is about one hour and act 3 around half-hour long.

Russian Ballet

As is clear, Russia emphasizes its history and culture, including Russian Ballet which has a high-rank between various sorts of art in Russia. Since there are lots of Halls that have a Ballet show in their calendar in Russia, travel agencies offer all sort of program to include at least one show in their tour schedule to make their tourists' journey even more pleasant. Mariinsky Theater is one of those halls that host a ballet performance the entire year.

The Mariinsky Theater hall with its modern and impressive construction can provide a way that both performers and audience have the opportunity to connect in the best way possible during the show. Mariinsky hosted major musicians, operas, and ballets on its stage, and also Tsars, writers, poets such as Pushkin as an audience during its presence.

Russian Ballet

As we said before, Ballet is a complete set of both art and entertainment. If you ever ask a ballet expert about should you go to one or not, they will probably tell you that any person without considering their taste in the art should at least watch one ballet show in their life. Ballet would deliver its spirit without using a word but only music, dance, and forming a concept. The dancer and ballerinas’ duet, astonishing costumes, and the music will bring joy and a pleasant feeling in the audience. Of course, besides the entertaining aim, Ballet would also touch your soul and feelings in most meaningful ways. Unlike operas which use the power of vocalist and words to express the feelings in their audience, Ballet completely depends on its dancers' technique and choreographer's skills, and since there are no words used in a ballet performance, you can enjoy the show with whatever language you spoke and hopefully experience a pleasant feeling at the end.

Russian Ballet

The Mariinsky Theater - Stage two would be the other well-equipped theater hall for ballet performances in the Saint Petersburg which of course is under the Mariinsky Theater supervision. The Mariinsky II is a modern and well-equipped theater hall which began its construction in 2006 and after lots of ups and downs, finally opened with a gala concert in honor of both the opening day and Valery Gergiev's 60th birthday, in 2013. This modern yet classic hall is perfect for operas performances, musicals especially classical symphonies, and ballet shows for sure, and these are the reason that some parts of Mariinsky show calendar would be host in Mariinsky Theater II.

Russian Ballet

Any ballet performance, especially if it belongs to one of the Russian Ballet companies, worth it to watch. However, there are several famous Russian Ballet with global tours such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo, and Juliet, Cinderella and many mores which are praised by many critics because of the well-mixed of Russian folklore dance and music, traditional costumes with classical ballet. The two major ballet companies in Russia Bolshoi and Mariinsky are performing both in Russia and the rest of the world all year round.

As we said several times now, ballet is one of the popular forms of art and dance performance between Russians. One can find several theater halls inside St. Petersburg that have a regular schedule of ballet shows such as Carnival Concert Hall inside the Anchikov Palace, Theater of Musical Comedy, and Aurora Ballet Hall. Other than the halls, there are several house and mansion belonged to famous ballerinas of Saint Petersburg such as the Kschessinska Mansion which belonged to Mathilda Kshesinskaya and now housed the Museum of Political History If you relish group dance performances in general, we recommend you to check out the Russian Folklore Dance and attend one of those performances as well. 

We at the Star Travel Group believe that creating art is only possible with emotions, and dance is the purest visual way of showing that emotions. That's why we suggest people who travel to St. Petersburg or visit Russia to go and see at least one Russian ballet performance in their travel. 


Theater of Musical Comedy - St. Petersburg

One of the most important art performances in Russia is the Ballet performances, which is quite popular among both Russian citizens and foreign tourists. If you check the top ballet performances of all time, you’ll notice that some of the top ballets of all time are from Russia, from Russian composers, and Russian ballet companies. For instance, we can point out to Swan Lake, which is one of the most famous Russian ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the famous Russian composer. He also wrote another famous ballet called the Nutcracker.

Since ballet it’s not only entertainment in Russia and considers as one of the serious art performances in Russia, it’s under lots of recognition. The Russian Ballet didn't exist until the end of the 17th century, but Peter I was a huge admirer of Western Culture, and after he became the ruler of Russia, a new style of Ballet introduced to the world. Soon enough, the Russian ballet alongside operas and dramas became one of the most favorite musical art performances in Russia. There are several theater halls in Russia that put lots of ballet performances in their year work calendar for that very reason.

In the St. Petersburg city, ballet performances are not limited to one or two theater halls. Since there are many local people and tourists who want to see famous Russian ballet performances, several theater halls have at least one stage assigned to the ballet performances.

One these theater halls, for example, is the Grand Palace theater which is more famous as Theater of Musical Comedy. The Theater of Musical Comedy is located at Italiaskaya Street only a few steps away from Nevsky Prospekt. The theater building was designed and built in 1799 by the Russian architect, Sokolova. The building was bought by the grandson of Nicholas I in 1896 for his favorite, famous Alexandrinsky Theater’s actress, Pototzkaya. The building got on a great fire in 1910 which destroyed most of the building. Soon after the fire, the building bought by Piltzov to become a theater hall. The interior of the new building was a fusion of Italian renaissance and improved late Baroque architecture which quickly got locals’ attention.

The Palas Theater started to work at the end of 1910, but the building changed ownership several times afterward. The building was given to the newly established Circus Music-hall in 1929. Then the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy replaced the Leningrad Peoples House in 1938.

One of the brightest moments in the Theater of Musical Comedy history was during the 900 days of Siege of Leningrad when the theater didn’t postpone its work even while the city was under attack. The Theater of Musical Comedy was the only theater hall that kept working during the war in St. Petersburg. The people of the theater from actors and actresses to singers and ballerinas were active both on stage and in the front line of the war.

During the post-war era, the theater continued to work. The Grand Palace Theater which is historically known as The Theater of Musical Comedy is still one of the most famous and popular theater halls of the city of St. Petersburg.

As we said before, the Russian ballet is favorite by the Russian and tourists, many foreign tourists who travel to Russia put at least one ballet performance in their Russia tour program. St. Petersburg is one of the top targets in Russia for tourists and travel agencies which has several Theater Halls that ballet companies can perform on regularly.

We suggest that in your trip to St. Petersburg, take some time aside for the Theater of Musical Comedy and watch at least one ballet show in there, so you can both enjoy the show and the historical yet modernized theater building.



Aurora Ballet Hall - St. Petersburg

Aurora Ballet Hall – St. Petersburg

Ballet as musical performance art is quite popular in Russia and got most of the attention among other styles of performance arts between both Russians and Tourists. Therefore, most of the theater halls in Russia provide the necessary needs to perform a ballet show so that ballet companies would be able to participate in their theaters throughout the year. Most of the ballet companies in Russia have their abroad tours, but since many locals and foreign tourists interested in ballet shows, all of them perform in Russia as well. The reason behind the interest among foreign tourists is that the Russian Classical Ballet has its differences with other styles and attract many ballet lovers’ attention from the beginning of its existence.

Russia has provided all the necessary needs and plans to develop the Russian Ballet since the locals cared about ballet a lot. For example, we can point out to the several theater halls with the ability to host ballet performances. Each ballet show needs a live classical music set and special platform for ballerinas to dance on it as well. Since the ballet has played a major role in Russia history, you can usually find modernized ballet halls near historical sites such as palaces or historical buildings. One of these halls is the Aurora Ballet Hall which is located inside the Saint Petersburg Hotel at the center of the St. Petersburg city. The name of the hall came from the Aurora Cruiser which is anchored at the side of the Neva river beside the hotel.

Aurora Ballet Hall – St. Petersburg

The story of Aurora knitted with the history of Russia. The cruiser constructed in 1900 for the imperial navy and released into the water for the Russia-Japan’s war in which it survived. After it came back into the Baltic sea and inside Russia territory, it went under reconstruction to be ready for its next assignment. The cruiser marked its name in the history of Russia when it fired the first shot at the Winter Palace, and indicated the beginning of the October Revolution and the end of Romanov’s monarchy in Russia. Currently, the cruiser serves as a museum ship on the Neva River near the Saint Petersburg hotel beside the Petrogradskaya embankment.

Aurora Ballet Hall – St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg hotel is located at the historical part of the city on the Petrogradskaya embankment near Neva River. The hotel built in 1970 and the name Petrograd was chosen for the hotel since it was the first hotel in this size that built after the Second World War in St. Petersburg. The up to date technologies that used to build this hotel made “Petrograd” even more obvious choice for this hotel as a symbol for the city.

Aurora Ballet Hall – St. Petersburg

The theater hall inside the hotel is an ideal location for all sorts of performances such as classical concerts, theaters, operas, and ballet shows. This hall is well-equipped with the best and latest tools and features for live performances. Most of the tourists who don’t have a room in the hotel came to this hotel only to see a ballet show. Most of the ballet shows required a full set of classical music and a well-equipped stage that designed for a ballet performance. The backstage and special rooms existed for ballerinas are also necessary to give a ballet hall a five-star rate which the Aurora Ballet Hall meets with all of these requirements. The Aurora Ballet Hall with a capacity of almost 800 people at once which can host ballet show, classical concerts, jazz concerts, dance competition, and other performing arts.

One of the none historical attraction of Russia is the dance performances and Russian folk songs which attract lots of foreign tourists. During the fold dance festivals in Russia, you can notice loads of foreigners among the locals. Though Ballet origin doesn’t come from Russia and didn’t have any historical mark since a few centuries ago, from the birth of the Russian Ballet, many masters and ballet lovers admired its methods and performance.

Aurora Ballet Hall – St. Petersburg

Many foreign tourists travel to Russia only to see a Russian Ballet show from many famous Russian ballet companies. There are several upsides for visiting Saint Petersburg hotel to attend a ballet show. The theater hall lobby has an amazing view over Neva river, Aurora Cruiser, and several historical sites. Visitants can also enjoy a fine meal at the theater hall international restaurant. The theater hall designed like the ancient theaters so each person can enjoy a great view over the stage.

We recommend that if you have plans to visit St. Petersburg, make sure to see at least one ballet show in your Russia tour, especially on the St. Petersburg city which has lots of theater halls. Since there are several halls with different performances throughout the year, you have a variety of choice to choose the best option for your ballet show. However, because of the historical point of the Saint Petersburg Hotel, and its ballet hall features, we recommend you to visit this hall in your St. Petersburg tour program and enjoy your ballet show as much as possible.



Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) - Saint Petersburg

Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) – Saint Petersburg

As we mentioned before, the Anchikov Palace complex is one of the many famous buildings in Nevsky Prospekt. Nevsky Avenue is the most important street in St. Petersburg which locates at the heart of the city. This street is loaded with major financial buildings, religious sites, international and local malls, shop centers, banks, and recreational centers. The Anchikov palace is exactly at the center of this street near the Anchikov bridge on the Fontaka river. The Anchikov palace’s name came from that same bridge which built by one of the greatest generals of the Russian military during the reign of Peter the Great, who built the bridge on Fontaka river.


Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) – Saint Petersburg

The Construction of the palace complex began in 1741 by the commands of Empress Elizabeth I and ended in 1751. The palace complex owned by various noble and imperial family members during its existence. Before the imperial family decided to buy this palace from the previous owner’s heirs, the palace was owned by the closest favorites of Empress Elizabeth I and Empress Catherine the Great, who were Count Razumovsky and Duke Potiomkin. These two previous owners of the palace complex got in range of Empresses anger after a while and exiled from Russia. The palace later bought by the imperial family from Duke Potemkin's descendants and given to Alexander III after the imperial court moved another place at the middle of the 19th century. Several members of the imperial family lived in this palace until the October Revolution such as Duchess Pavlovna, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III, and the last emperor of the Russia, Nicholas II.

Following the October Revolution, the Anchikov palace turned to Leningrad city history museum for seventeen years. The palace went under reconstruction by Krichevsky and Gegello in 1936, and from 1938 it housed the palace of young pioneers.


Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) – Saint Petersburg

Unlike other structures in the Anchikov Palace complex which built in the middle of the 18th century, there’s one building in the complex that built at the end of the Soviet Union era. While St. Petersburg was at another historical turning point in 1986, more than twenty enterprises joined forces to build a multi-functional cultural center in the Anchikov palace complex.

This multi-functional Carnival Concert Hall locates at the courtyard of the Anchikov Palace complex. This hall which equipped with the latest features and technology in the world dragged the title of one of the best halls in the Saint Petersburg city behind its name. The beautiful and historical outdoor, updated technologies that used to build this building, and the engineering behind the interior design made the Carnival Hall one of the best multi-functional halls in St. Petersburg.

The comfortable seat, a beautiful view from the hall’s lobby, modern equipped stage, and the easily accessible location on the Nevsky Avenue, made The Carnival Concert Hall one of the favorite halls for people of St Petersburg and tourists. The Carnival Hall is a proper choice for all kinds of performances such as classical and jazz concerts, pop music, operas, and ballet shows.


Carnival Concert Hall (Anchikov Palace) – Saint Petersburg

Though a good ballet show single-handedly can make anyone who loves art and musical performances night, a comfortable seat, top features, and easy access location would surely help the condition. The Carnival Hall inside the Anchikov Palace complex scores a high grade amongst other halls in the Saint Petersburg city with its features and options. For example, one of the most important options in this hall is the casual dress-code which made it quite popular among foreign tourists, who don’t want to bring formal clothes with them on a vacation. Some halls especially opera and ballet halls have a dress-code policy which means whoever want to attend the show must have formal clothes on, but the Carnival hall despite the high-rank and top performances that take place there, doesn’t have any dress-code policy. The casual dressing made it even more suitable for tourists who want to tour around Nevsky Avenue and then attend the show.

If you have plans to visit Saint Petersburg we recommend you to set a time for at least one ballet show aside in your Russia tour since there are lots of top ballet performances in the world that are originally from Russia such as Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, which are composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, one of the excellent Russian composers of all time. We also recommend you to choose the Carnival Concert Hall for your ballet show experience during the tour to St. Petersburg because this hall is one of the best halls in the city.

  • Transfer
  • TourLeader


During the tour the participants will learn as much as possible about the ballet connected places of Saint Petersburg including the following places:

  • The Hermitage Theatre - one of the five Hermitage buildings on the Palace Embankment of Neva River. It was built during the reign of Catherine the Great according to her personal taste in palladian style designed by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi. This very architectural masterpiece made Quarenghi one of the best well-known architects of Europe. The auditorium which capacity is about 250 spectators is decorated with marble and statues. Some of the elements were lost during the Soviet period but still the theathe possesses its unique splendour. The repertoire was chosen first my the empress herself. For some time the costumes for the cast were chosen from the personal wardrobe of Empress Elizabeth. Mathilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova and Fyodor Chaliapin were among the greatest artists acting on the stage of Hermitage Theatre.
  • Theatre of Musical Comedy - a theatre of Saint Petersburg, the repertoire of which consists of operettas and musicals. This is one of the oldest theatres in Russia. It was rebuilt for many times and several times changed its designation but almost always its destiny was connected with art. 
  • Aurora Ballet Hall - it was built in the middle of the last century. The theater is located in the city center, among the famous attractions of the northern capital. The seats in the hall are arranged as an amphitheater, with rising rows, as it was in the oldest imperial theaters, thus making each spectator clearly see the stage. The foyer of the theater is decorated with three colourful paintings. In the Theater the shows are performed by the famous Russian Ballet Theater, which is used to act in the best imperial theaters of the city.
  • Anchikov Palace - it is one of the most vivid examples of palace architecture of 18-19th centuries in Saint Petersburg. The palace was named Anichkov after Mikhail Anichkov, engineer who lived at times of Peter the Great. For about a century it was one of the residence of the imperial family, their home and venue for the official receptions, balls and masquerades. Now there are a Theatre and a concert hall 'Carnival' here. Ballet performances take place here.

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