Alexander Shiryaev (1867–1941), a protégé of Marius Petipa, enjoyed a distinguished career as a character dancer, teacher, and Deputy Ballet Master of the Mariinsky Theatre. Not until this century, however, were audiences made aware of his pioneering motion picture work (ca. 1906-1909), initially intended as a vehicle for dance notation, but which eventually included short live-action comedies and intricately choreographed puppet films. Shiryaev's films, amateur productions created with consumer-grade 17.5 and 35 mm equipment, were unknown to history until their chance rediscovery many years after his death. Following the production of Viktor Bocharov's documentary film A Belated Premiere in 2003, the restored films received their first public performance at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in October 2008.