TenPoundHammer wrote:I don't see why I shouldn't have expected it to be related to say, musicals, operas or plays.
One reason is that it was performing in both French- and English-speaking countries, and had some kind of tie with Russia. If the art form depended heavily on language (for example, drama or comedic musicals), either the company would have to excel at performing the works in different languages (very unlikely) or the audience would be taking in the performance in a foreign language and thus probably not appreciating it as much. So the company would not be performing to "great acclaim" internationally as the clue says. To illustrate, France and Russia have drama companies, but you have probably never seen them performing in the U.S. You probably also have never heard of a Russian musical.
Of the remaining art forms, that basically leaves ballet, which doesn't involve language, and opera, which is usually performed in the original language (rather than in translation) but can be performed well by people who aren't native speakers of that language. Although there are some well-known Russian operas and some good Russian opera singers and companies, Russia isn't known as an exporter of opera. Just as an exercise, name all the Russian opera companies you can. Then after you haven't been able to think of any, turn your mind to France. France has long had a very strong operatic tradition, and its opera companies are even featured in other art forms, like The Phantom of the Opera
, impressionist paintings, and those Parisian posters that decorate cafes from Tampa to Spokane. There would be no reason for Russian expatriates to be setting up their own Russian-style opera companies in Monte Carlo and Paris. So opera would not be a good guess for this clue.
But Russia does
have a very strong ballet tradition. You may have even heard of some Russian ballet dancers. And the Russian ballerina is a stock character in movies, probably including a lot of movies you've seen. So it makes sense as the art form here.
Note: This is my own exercise. It's interesting for me to tease out the reasoning of a clue. I'm not expecting a leopard to change its spots.