The Moscow City Ballet, formed in 1988, perform Merimee's classic tale of love and betrayal, with Nadezhda Pavlova in the title role. Don José is a guard who begins an affair with the tempestuous Carmen. He is imprisoned and loses his job, then flees with her to the mountains. When the relationship starts to break down José refuses to acknowledge it, and will not leave even when he gets news that his mother is dying. Carmen meanwhile has taken up with the bullfighter Escamillo.