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Watch ‘Swan Lake’ Transform Into a Spectacular Light Show

The classic ballet has never looked so stunning

smithsonian.com

A night at the ballet can be a glamorous affair, but a recent performance in Moscow didn't require fancy clothing or even tickets. It wasn't even performed indoors; instead, it was projected onto the outside of the Bolshoi Theatre.

The interpretative remake of Swan Lake, the classic ballet scored by Peter Tchaikovsky and most famously choreographed by Marius Petipa, was performed in September to honor Maya Plisetskaya, one of the 20th century's most famous ballerinas.

If you're not familiar with Plisetskaya's name, there's a tragic reason why: During 16 years of her celebrated career, KGB officials forbid Plisetskaya from performing in Western countries. Known for her dramatic flair, Plisetskaya struggled with the political and creative restrictions of the Soviet period. After she passed away earlier this year, The Guardian's Judith Cruickshank described her as "one of the most important ballerinas of the Soviet era." 

The performance was part of Moscow's Circle of Light festival, a mind-boggling annual event that invites artists to project light installations onto historic buildings across the city. Its rendition of Swan Lake may not convince aspiring ballerinas to trade their sneakers for slippers, but it does prove that dance is a universal, versatile form of art. To see more from the Circle of Light festival, check out the slideshow below.

(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
(Konstantin Kokoshkin/Global Look/Corbis)
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