Natasha Middleton, artistic director of Media City Ballet, grew up watching her father, Andrei Tremaine, dance these dances. He was a member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and his mother, Elena Wortova, was a soloist with the original Ballet Russe.
"I was a Ballet Russe baby," Middleton said. "I grew up watching these beautiful ballets that he had learned with the company and I was always very fascinated with Leonide Massine's choreography."
She considers Massine one of the greatest ballet choreographers ever, she said, and she wondered what it would be like dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and working one-on-one with Massine.
Since she formed her own company six years ago, Middleton has always wanted to incorporate Ballet Russe repertoire in her shows and the reunion show gave her the opportunity to do that, she said.
The program includes Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," with original choreography by Michel Fokine; Leon Minkus's "Don Quixote" Pas de Deux, with original choreography by Marius Petipa; and Alexander Borodin's "The Polovtsian Dances," from "Prince Igor," staged by Middleton and Ruben Tonoyan of Glendale with assistance by Tremaine.
"The Polovtsian Dances" from "Prince Igor" is a dance within an opera that became famous on its own, Middleton said. The piece was originally set by Fokine in Russia.
The composer's inspiration for the piece is the East Slavic story, "The Tale of Igor's Campaign," which centers on a 12th-century Russian prince (Igor Svyatoslavich) and his campaigns against the invading Polovtsian tribes.