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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Firebird


Guest pdance

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Guest pdance

Um, I think this would be the right place to ask, so... My artistic director just announced that our spring production in 2002 will be Firebird. From what I know about it, it sounds good. The problem is that I don't know much about it. I was wondering if someone could give a brief synopsis of the ballet and maybe a key into the roles (i.e. what roles are desirable). Thank you in advance! :)

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Christa, The Firebird is an old standard from the first days of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes. The content of its original choreography is debatable at this point, and many ballet masters have tried their own versions of the Mikhail Fokine/Igor Stravinsky original.

 

A synopsis of the ballet, in brief, follows.

 

Prince Ivan, of ancient Russia, is hunting in the forest when he encounters a Firebird, a half-woman, half-bird with magical powers. After dancing with her, he releases her, and as thanks, she gives him a feather, which he is to call on when he is in danger.

 

Hunting further, Ivan encounters the domain of the evil King Köstchei, and watches as twelve princesses come into the garden to dance. The prince, smitten with the leading princess, joins in their dance in a Russian khorovod.

 

Their dancing is interrupted by the arrival of the King and his horde of monsters. Köstchei himself appears, and directs the monsters to attack Ivan. He pulls out the Firebird feather and she magically appears, forcing the monsters to dance themselves senseless. She tells Ivan that Köstchei's soul is contained in a huge egg in his palace; Ivan finds it, breaks it and Köstchei dies.

 

The scene changes to the wedding of the Princess and the Prince in full state.

 

That's the story in the main, but many people have tinkered with it over the years, assuming people know the original libretto.

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Guest pdance

Major Mel, thank you very much!! Now I feel I have a clue. It sounds like a very interesting ballet. I had only seen the costumes for the piece in pictures in books. I assume that our costumes are going to be gorgeous, because they used to be Paris Opera Ballet's Firebird costumes! Anyway, thank you very much for telling me about it. :)

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Guest hesterlover1

I just thought I'd add--the music is really neat and interesting! For our marching band show this year we're using Stravinsky music from a few ballets--Rite of Spring, Petrouchka and the Firebird. Sometimes it's hard to count--I don't know if that's true in the original arrangements but I've found that's the case with our band music. Anyway, it sounds like that'll be a really fun ballet to be a part of!

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  • 5 months later...

Our spring production is also The Firebird!!!!! I am very excited. We have started to rehearse a lot. I am a slave to Kastchei (I think there are a lot of different spellings for his name)in the "monsters" section of the ballet. It is very fun, and requires sooooooo much energy. What is your part? Have fun!

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