They were the future of Russian ballet, heirs to centuries of glorious Russian tradition, an elite few who had been chosen from across Russia. Except, that is, for the one from Montana.
The EU and Russia aim to make progress with visa exemption negotiations and sign a new framework agreement at the summit with is being held this Monday and Tuesday in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, the first such summit since the Treaty of Lisbon came into effect.
The cultural program for 2011 outlined by the Russian government is really impressive - the "cross" years of culture between Russia, Italy and Spain and a new cycle in humanitarian cooperation with the US.
Now that the Russian Duma has approved the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ as a public holiday, leaders of Russia’s Islamic and Buddhist communities say they want their faiths to be recognized in the same way.
A year ago it symbolised Russia's victory over Georgia and its American backers. These days Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, talks of common values and the trustworthiness of America.
President Obama took some time Monday out of his busy schedule to shoot some hoops with 22 Russian kids who are in town to fulfill the cultural part of his "reset" in U.S.-Russia relations. The Russian youth spending 11 days in Washington as part of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission's Education, Culture, Sports, and Media Working Group, one of the many such working groups set up by the two sides last year.
Now, more than a half-century later, the Soviet Union has disintegrated, the Kennedy Center has recently featured dozens of Russia's top opera, ballet and musical superstars and, perhaps more to the point, Russia has been chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russian leaders are trying to use the current thaw in relations with the U.S. to enhance cooperation in space, pushing for joint exploration efforts extending past the life of the international space station.