Music: Nijinsky's Heirs

Ballet buffs waited patiently for 33 steamy hours outside Manhattan's musty old Metropolitan Opera House merely for the privilege of buying standing-room tickets. Others had queued up three weeks earlier—at 5 a.m.—to snap up seats that cost as much as $50 a pair. Late-risers shuffled dejectedly to the end of a half-block line. But scarcely five minutes after the opening curtain, the audience knew that its trouble had all been worthwhile. In the first U.S. appearance of its distinguished 223-year history, Leningrad's Kirov Ballet was a hit.

Though the company is new to the...

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