(Imperial School of Ballet)
Ballet in Russia began as a way to entertain the royal court. Then, in the 19th century, it was available to anyone who could afford a ticket. The first ballet company was the Imperial School of Ballet in St. Petersburg in the 1740s. Russian composers began writing special pieces to accompany the delicate art form. One of the first advocates was Sergei Diaghilev, who arranged the very first Paris tour of the Russian ballet. As it gained popularity, composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Fokin got involved to produce a famed program. As the years went on, ballet grew as an impressive art form that spread across Russia. Now the Moscow Ballet is a well known show that attracts visitors from around the world.