Celebrate #WorldTheatreDay with Behind-the-Scenes Looks at 3 Iconic Dance Stages

The Mariinsky Ballet rehearsing at the historic Mariinsky Theatre (via National Geographic on YouTube)

Happy World Theatre (or Theater) Day, everybody! Did you know that this fantastic little holiday has been celebrated every March 27th for the past 56 (!) years?

In honor of WTD 2018, we thought we'd highlight eye-opening behind-the-scenes glimpses at three of the dance world's most beautiful theaters: NYC's Metropolitan Opera House, Paris' Palais Garnier, and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre.

First up: the Met. Back in July, the New York Times took its cameras deep inside the 3,800-seat venue during American Ballet Theatre's season. Not only does their 360-degree camera give us a peek at all the dance goings-on, but we also get to see the Met Orchestra rehearsing a Mahler symphony and the opera costume shop prepping for Madama Butterfly.

Next, travel to the City of Lights for an insider's look at the Palais Garnier, the gorgeous home of the Paris Opéra Ballet. Thanks to the Google Cultural Institute, not only can you watch a 360-degree video of a performance on the theater's stage, you can also get multi-angle looks at the building's exquisite design details—and even the eerie "lake" underneath the building, which totally inspired The Phantom of the Opera. (Performance video below; you can find the whole collection here.)

Finally, take a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, to explore the historic Mariinsky Theatre, home of the Mariinsky Ballet. National Geographic's behind-the-scenes vid offers looks at the venue's onstage and backstage areas as the company prepares for a production of Paquita—and offers a bit of a crash course in Russian ballet history.

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