Music: The Great Tradition

Louis Quatorze grew bored with minuets; so he started a school of ballet, in 1661. Voltaire himself had sighed over the first ballerinas ("Ah, Camargo! How brilliant you are! But, great gods, how ravishing is also Sallé!"). Ever since, Parisians have gone ga-ga over their Paris Opera Ballet.

This month, for the first time, Paris' famed ballet company—the great grandmother of them all—hitched up its tutus and crossed the Atlantic to give the U.S. a chance to see what all the ga-ga-ing was about.

Scouts had picked Chicago's big Civic Opera House as "the place...

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