In 1958, two years after his work in Ecuador covering Operation Auca, Cornell Capa visited the USSR to provide a snapshot of Soviet Russian life. While traveling through Moscow, he photographed ballerinas at the Bolshoi Ballet School (today, Moscow State Academy of Choreography), one of the oldest and most prestigious academies of its kind in the world. The school, founded in 1773 by Catherine the Great — 10 years after she established it as an orphanage, was part of a larger effort to promote art and the ballet in Russia. Capa’s image serves as a testament to the legacy and beauty of an enduring hallmark of Russian culture.

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