Arguably, Serge Diaghilev and the two rival Ballets Russes that emerged after his death brought 19th-century imperial ballet firmly into the 20th century. Diaghilev continued the Russian formula of story ballets with elaborate sets and costumes holding equal dignity with the musical score and the choreography, but the three-act extravaganzas perfected by Marius Petipa for the czar gave way in Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes to shorter story ballets that emerged as new classics. Following up on last year’s homage to the Men of the Ballet Russe, Media City Ballet artistic director Natasha Middleton celebrates Ballet Russe by staging work from the classical ballet canon, including selections from Weber’s Le Spectre de la Rose, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Offenbach’s Gaite Parisienne, Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda and Borodin’s Prince Igor. In addition, dancers from the Maple Youth Ballet will perform Valse-Fantasie by George Balanchine. Among the scheduled soloists, look for Edgar Nikolyan, Tyler Nelson, April Mcleod and Arsen Serobian. Alex Theater, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sun., April 27, 7:30 p.m.; $20-$48. (818) 243-2539 or

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