During much of the 19th century, the Bolshoi was overshadowed by the Imperial Mariinsky Ballet (later the Kirov Ballet, now the Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet), based in Saint Petersburg.
During the 1920s and 1930s the Bolshoi developed ballets with dramatic plots that appealed to a wider audience, such as The Red Poppy (1927), which tells the story of a Chinese dancer who dies while saving the life of a Soviet captain whom she loves.
In the mid-1960s, Russian dancer and choreographer Yuri Grigorovich was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi.
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