The Nutcracker, the unfailing companion of the winter holiday season, is perhaps the most popular ballet in the world. Thanks to the magical music by Tchaikovsky and the lovely choreography of Petipa both adults and children enjoy this fascinating fairytale about a girl, the evil mouse king, and a brave champion, the wooden Nutcracker-Prince. Also, among the most famous numbers of the Nutcracker are the Waltz of the Flowers and the Waltz of the Snowflakes.
This heartbreaking story of the dazzling Princess Odette, enchanted by an evil magician who leaves her a woman by night and a swan by day, and her savior, Prince Siegfried, is the crown jewel of the Russian ballet repertoire. Most ballerinas dream of the role of Odette/Odile which is both challenging and very inspiring because it demands virtuosic technique and powerful characterization.
Don Quixote tells the story of the old hidalgo, who reads many adventurous romance novels and it looking for an adventure of his own. While traveling, he meets the mischievous barber Basilio and his love interest, the playful Kitri. It is the first and the most famous of Petipa's Grand ballets with a Spanish theme. Since its premiere in 1869 the ballet has been a huge success, thanks to its spectacular scenes and flamboyant, bravura pas de deux, involving a lot of technically demanding dancing and sparkling stage presence.
Paquita, one of the Petipa's revivals, is the story of the young gypsy girl who doesn't know that she is actually a daughter of aristocratic parents and was kidnapped when she was a baby. The most famous scene from this ballet is the magnificent Grand Pas Classique for the third act which includes a number of beautiful variations and the most spectacular coda.