This year, the Mariinsky scheduled but one performance of The Nutcracker. (Never a holiday ballet in Russia, The Nutcracker is performed throughout the year.) But on December 9, 10, and 11, there are performances of Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia, delicate and glorious, its delicious sets and costumes by Christopher and Robin Ironside. And on December 15 and 16, George Balanchine’s Jewels takes the stage, clothed by Karinska, one of the great costume designers of the last century, and glittering like emeralds, rubies, and diamonds from the Czar’s vault. When it comes to aesthetic luxe, Sylvia and Jewels are sumptuous to the max. —L.J.
Mariinsky Ballet Theatre Square, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000 Get Directions »