Dear Readers,


     In 1994 we published the first issue of the magazine Ballet in Russia in English. Its debut coincided with the Fifth USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. The public, competitors, ballet critics, and members of the jury became Ballet in Russia's first readers. This debut issue looked back on the people and events making news in Russian dance.
     At the time of the Jackson competition, we promised to enlarge our work and to prepare the next issue as an historical digest. The result is an exciting compilation of historical material previously published in the journal Sovietsky Ballet, which has appeared in Russia for the last fifteen years. (The journal was renamed Ballet in 1992.)
     We are aware that a great interest in the history of Russian ballet throughout the centuries exists among our non-Russian readership. The articles in this issue reveal that much of what is now included in today's ballet world was created in Russia, by artists of different nationalities and persuasion. In fact, these artists and creators found fertile ground in Russia for their professional gifts, and helped establish, solidify and develop the art of ballet.
     The content of this issue of Ballet in Russia is presented so that the reader-professional or ballet lover will have a general idea of the development of Russian ballet. The articles we have included lead up to the time of the creation of one of the masterpieces of the ballet repertoire: Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
     Within the pages of this magazine, we offer you the particular path of Russian ballet from its inception to its most significant achievement: the choreography of Swan Lake for the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre in 1895, more than one hundred years ago.
     Clearly, within this framework, we could not reproduce in their entirety the articles that originally appeared in the journal Sovietsky Ballet. Therefore, at the end of each article , we cite the original publication. Those interested in certain subjects or conducting research will be able to refer to the original in its entirety and order a copy if so desired.
     Furthermore, the historical material published in the past encompasses so much that we have decided to divide it into two issues. This first part focuses on the beginnings of Russian ballet and concludes with the 1895 premiere of Swan Lake. The second part, to be published next year, will extend from Swan Lake to the late of 20th century.
     Thus we present to you the personalities, careers and performances that together provide at historical perspectives on two centuries of Russian ballet. We finish with Swan Lake, the eternal symbol and crowning achievement of Russian classical ballet.