The Firebird ballet

the firebird

Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by Anatoly Emelianov

The premiere of the ballet was held on July 21st, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prince Ivan ventures into the garden of the evil Kashchei. He catches the magical Firebird. She promises to aid the Prince whenever he needs help if he will release her. He takes a magic feather from the bird’s tail, then releases her. Twelve princesses with the Tsarevna (daughter of the Tsar) dance. They are in the power of Kashchei. Prince Ivan falls in love with the Tsarevna. He asks Kashchei whether he can marry her. Kashchei is angry and sends his monsters after the Prince. Kashchei is about to turn him to stone, when the Prince waves the feather. The Firebird appears, and comes to the Prince’s rescue. She casts a spell on the monsters. They fall asleep. The Firebird tells the Prince that Kashchei’s soul lies in an egg. The Prince smashes the egg. Kashchei loses his power, the monsters, and his palace. The Prince marries the Tsarevna.

Igor Stravinsky 17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.

Stravinsky’s compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The latter transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky’s enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His “Russian phase” which continued with works such as Renard, the Soldier’s Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue and symphony), drawing on earlier styles, especially from the 18th century. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, and of instrumentation.

About performance Carmina Burana.