This iconic Russian ballet was originally performed at the Bolshoi Theatre, St Petersburg in 1877 and remained unknown to the West until 1961. The Royal Opera House recently refurbished a number of backdrops from its 1980 production. They are still some of the most beautiful examples of traditionally painted scenery for ballet.
Anna Cottray and I edited the final act backdrop, which can be seen below. We were asked to bring it closer to the original design, which involved intensifying and softening the vortex swirl.
Designer Pier Luigi Samaritani
Choreographer Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa
Performed in the Royal Opera House, London, 2018.