DANCE: THE KIROV LOSES FOCUS

THE RUSSIAN TROUPE, BACK FOR A U.S. TOUR, STILL HAS FINE DANCERS BUT IS SACRIFICING ARTISTRY IN AN EFFORT TO MODERNIZE

The breakup of the Soviet Union was bad news for its performing-arts institutions. Struggling to survive without government support, most are now heavily dependent on potentially lucrative international tours. So it seems churlish to say the historic Kirov Ballet, in New York City last week and soon to embark on a six-city national tour (Washington, Los Angeles and Seattle are among the upcoming destinations), is a disappointment. The Kirov nurtured George Balanchine, the greatest choreographer of modern times, as well as such stars as Pavlova, Nureyev, Baryshnikov and Makarova. In addition to their individual gifts, these dancers reflected the discipline and...

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