Once every three years, the world's top dancers gather in Tokyo for several days of splendid joint performances at the World Ballet Festival, which will be held this August for the 14th time. The first of what could be referred to as "Ballet Olympics" took place 39 years ago, and since then, it has become the stuff of legends and has featured numerous renowned performances.
The memorable first World Ballet Festival was held in 1976. That first Festival was an unprecedented event at that time, not only for Japan but also for the international ballet community, as it brought together more than 20 of the world's greatest dancers for joint performances. The presence of three of the world's finest ballerinas--Maya Plisetskaya of the former Soviet Union, Margot Fonteyn of the United Kingdom, and Alicia Alonsoof Cuba--on the same stage in all their splendor attracted a large audience and astonished the Japanese and international ballet communities. Since then, the WBF has created an ongoing legacy as a model for gala ballet festivals worldwide.
In honor of the upcoming 14th World Ballet Festival, we will be presenting a series of thirteen videos, a new one every day, depicting the curtain calls from all the Festivals, from the first, held in 1976, to the thirteenth, held only three years ago. We hope you will enjoy these "hidden video treasures" as you watch legendary dancers of the past and present take their bows.