Russia’s balletic artistry is the vehicle for bringing to life the literary epic “War and Peace,” and as elaborate columns soar skyward, we are on the dance floor of Natasha Rostova’s first Imperial ball. This is a beautiful, theatric sequence.

But the music turns harsh, winter comes and we’re hurtling toward the Russian revolution.

Enter a giant locomotive, giant tractors and suddenly humans become cogs in the industrial machine. Mechanized choreography set to pulsing, insistent rhythms replace all that was beautiful. It’s all highly stylized, set amid smoke and irritating strobe lighting. And it’s very powerful.

Cue the 20th Century: Frenzied workers and students build the Soviet citysapce. And now, they’re hopping from cars and skyscrapers rise around them.

Lifted by a red balloon, Lyubov soars into the sky.

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