Ballet in four acts with choreography by Nina Anisimova, libretto by Konstantin Derzhavin, music by Khachaturian, sets by Natan Altman, and costumes by Tatyana Bruni. Premiered 9 Dec. 1942 by the Kirov Ballet in Perm, with Dudinskaya, Zubkovsky, Konstantin Sergeyev, Tatayna Vecheslova, and Boris Shavrov. The ballet, set in an Armenian cotton collective, tells the story of the cotton picker Gayané and her lover Armen, set against a background of political and military intrigue. The ballet, firmly within the Soviet school of Socialist Realism, celebrates the virtues of collective labour and incorporates Armenian folk dance into the choreography. The ballet includes the famous Sabre Dance, often performed on its own as a showpiece. Anisimova re-staged the ballet twice for the Kirov in St Petersburg, in 1945 and 1952. Vainonen choreographed a new version for the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1957, while Anisimova restaged her version for the Bolshoi in 1961. Boris Eifman choreographed yet another new staging for the Maly Theatre in St Petersburg in 1972.