Music: Old Ballets, Soviet Style

Communist Russia has always been a proud patron of the ballet, possibly because one of the Bolshevik Revolution's opening oratorical guns was fired from a ballerina's love nest.

When Lenin returned to St. Petersburg on April 16, 1917 from his ten-year exile, he was escorted, amid armored cars, red flags and circling searchlights, to a chic town house. There, speaking to the crowd from a second-story balcony, he proclaimed the start of worldwide revolution. Before it became Bolshevik headquarters, that villa had been occupied by Mathilde Kchessinska, once Czar Nicholas II's great &...

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