러시아는 17세기 말 표트르대제 이후 국가정책의 일환으로 유럽에서 발레를 도입하여 국가적차원에서 적극적인 보호, 장려정책을 썼다. 그 후 발레는 상류사회의 문화개혁을 위한 목적으로 더욱 발전되었고 20세기초에 디아길레프의 「발레뤼스」로 러시아의 발레가 서구 유럽으로 진출하게 되면서 탁월한 러시아 발레가 유럽과 미국등지에서 ``신고전주의 발레``로 태동하게 된다. 1917년 러시아 사회주의 혁명으로 인하여 여러 어려운 과정을 거쳐 아나똘리 루나차르스키와 레닌 등 일부 혁명지도자들에 의해 발레가 보호, 지원, 장려받게되며 1930년대 중반이후부터 정부에서 제도적으로 육성하게 된다. 1927년 발레가 혁명의 정당성과 영웅성을 그린 작품들이 나오면서, 혁명의 주체였던 프롤레타리아들 대중을 위한 러시아 발레가 시작된다. 이 시대의 러시아 발레는 리얼리틱한 발레로 내용과 형식에 있어서 구체적인 스토리의 전개와 등장인물들의 심리적 표현들을 관객들이 쉽게 이해할 수 있도록 하였다. 이것은 주제의 선택 및 표현의 자유를 획득하였다고 할 수 있다. 러시아발레의 특징은 체계적이고 엄격한 시스템에서 정부의 제도적인 지원을 받아 우수한 발레인구를 많이 확보할 수 있었고 예술적 성공뿐 아니라 이후 대중에 그 뿌리를 내릴 수 있었던 것이었다. 대중들이 공감할 수 있었던 주제와 소재를 선정하여 발레의 대중화에 성공함으로써 <돈키호테>, <잠자는 숲 속의 미녀>, <백조의 호수> 등이 계승, 발전되어 전 세계에서 공연하게 된 역사적 의의를 혁명 후부터 도출하였다.
The article provides a flow chart for the transitions of the Russian ballet in the time span between the late 17th century to the early 20th century. More than a historical flowchart of the Russian ballet, it confers further detailed understanding of causes and effects which had shaped today`s unique Russian ballet. Ballet was never originated in Russia. Ballet was a form of high class dance which was imported from the western European countries in the 17th century. Its initial landing in Russia was promoted by Czar Pyotr I who had ambition to reform Russia into a more civilized as well as mightier state. The ballet was one of his national policy. The initial phase of the newly introduced ballet involved with active absorbing from invited ballet masters and choreographers. The western ballet style was readily accepted as a standard to follow. Ballet institutes such The Imperial Ballet Schools and Theatres were established and mostly centered at the cities St. Petersburg and Moscow with the supports of Russian monarches. As it approached 19th century, the Russian ballet which was originally adapted from other western countries for the purpose of cultural enlightenment of the ruling classes became more specialized. The expression of the ballet with splendor was the essence of all and more or less it became a heritage character of the Russian ballet. However, the recognition of the Russian ballet`s true identity as ``Ballet Russes`` began in the early 20th century. This gaining of the world wide reputation of the Russian ballet owed to the work of Diaglilev along with his many recruited outstanding ballet dancers. They actively performed the so called ``neoclassical ballets`` or ``Ballet Russe`` overseas. As a result, the Russian ballet became the origin for the introduction of the neoclassical ballet overseas, particularly in Europe and America. This became meaningful in that the Russian ballet had gone beyond the status for the purpose of the limited cultural revolution. The neoclassical Russian ballet was rather a national symbol of arts. The Russian ballet then experienced vicissitudes of various changes in plots and styles after the socialist revolution in 1917. It was age of political and economical chaos, and there was no leniency for people who desperately sought daily necessities to enjoy the ballet. Worse than it, a large population of critics censured the ballet as an abominable product of the former imperial family and the bourgeois class. The proposal of abolishing the ballet performances was refuted by the very leader of the revolution. The communists, Lenin, Anatorii Luncharsky and others still willing to sponsor the progression of the ballet since they thought the ballet was required to nurture the public. However, the ballet in this time, transformed into a tool to the sociologist ideology. More and more ballets with unrealistic plots were removed and replaced by the ballets with proletarian tastes. In fact, the ballet productions after the revolution were characterized by their emphasis on the heroism and legitimacy to the revolution. On the other perspectives, the Russian ballet during the post revolutionary period was more down-to-earth. The plots and styles focused on detailed storytelling and the psychological representations to the audience. Under the constant support and supervision of the socialist government, the Russian ballet prospered and enabled to capture high quality ballet population. Important of all, the Russian ballet was able to maintain familarity from the general public and continuously be cherished as national heritage. Although the ballet under the influence of the communism brought some downturn of its true artistic purpose, the ballet survived and further prospered among the general public. With the strong will power of Russian ballet masters such as Agrippina Vaganova and others, the Russian ballet was able to retain its classic elements from the past. Thus, a wholistic or a well balanced ballet form emerged. Familiar topics of the classic ballets such as , , , and still others were kept and performed all around world. Therefore, the Russian ballet resumed its artistic essence and was able to derive historical meaning to its ballet since the Russian revolution. After all, the Russian ballet was meant to develop for the purpose of artistic expression, not merely be manipulated for the purpose of socialist ideology.