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New production of Firebird by RatmanskyPremiere on March 29, 2012


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#1 Dale

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 07:08 AM

WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW PRODUCTION OF
THE FIREBIRD,
CHOREOGRAPHED BY ALEXEI RATMANSKY,
SET FOR MARCH 29, 2012 AT
SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS,
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA

American Ballet Theatre will premiere an all-new production of the Igor
Stravinsky classic The Firebird, with original choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, on
March 29, 2012 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, it was
announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The ballet will be given five
performances, March 29-April 1, 2012 in California, and will have its New York
Premiere during ABT’s 2012 Metropolitan Opera House season.

Based on the Russian fairy tale, the one-act ballet will feature scenery by Simon
Pastukh and costumes by Galina Solovyeva. The design team previously collaborated on
Ratmansky’s On the Dnieper in 2009. Ratmansky’s choreography for The Firebird will
utilize the entire Stravinsky score.

Ratmansky’s The Firebird is American Ballet Theatre’s fourth production of the
ballet. Originally choreographed by Michel Fokine to Stravinsky’s first score for ballet,
The Firebird received its world premiere by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the
Théâtre National de l’Opéra in Paris on June 25, 1910. It first entered the repertory of
Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on October 24, 1945 with
choreography by Adolph Bolm and scenery and costumes by Marc Chagall. A second
production, with choreography by Michel Fokine and staging by Christopher Newton,
was premiered by ABT in 1977 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles,
California. ABT gave the revival premiere of The Firebird, with choreography by
Michel Fokine and produced by Nicholas Beriozoff, on January 24, 1992 at the Palacio
de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Ratmansky was named American Ballet Theatre’s Artist in Residence in 2009.
The Firebird will be his fifth work for the Company. He previously choreographed a
production of The Firebird for the Royal Swedish Ballet in 2002.

For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org.

#2 ksk04

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:41 AM

Segerstrom Center posted, on their Facebook page, this casting info regarding The Firebird:

"ABT has announced preliminary casting for the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Firebird. Scheduled to perform in The Firebird are three extraordinary ballerinas: Natalia Osipova, Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston. ABT's The Firebird will be performed March 29 – April 1, 2012."

#3 vipa

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

Segerstrom Center posted, on their Facebook page, this casting info regarding The Firebird:

"ABT has announced preliminary casting for the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Firebird. Scheduled to perform in The Firebird are three extraordinary ballerinas: Natalia Osipova, Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston. ABT's The Firebird will be performed March 29 – April 1, 2012."



I think we can safely say that there will be a lot of jumping in the choreography

#4 Tapfan

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:19 PM

I certainly hope there's a lot of jumping. I like jumping. But then,I'm a heathen.

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:49 PM

:yahoo: Thank Heaven, I can finally uncross all those fingers and toes! I'm coming! Tickets on sale yet?

#6 ksk04

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:56 PM

Tickets for non-subscribers of SCFTA usually don't go on sale until about 6 weeks month before the show date. They usually send out a presale password a little before that if you are on their Facebook page. If you are worried about getting good seats, don't be panicked--it's a slow buying crowd and there are usually lots of good seats right up to the week of performances.

#7 California

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:42 PM

Tickets for non-subscribers of SCFTA usually don't go on sale until about 6 weeks month before the show date. They usually send out a presale password a little before that if you are on their Facebook page. If you are worried about getting good seats, don't be panicked--it's a slow buying crowd and there are usually lots of good seats right up to the week of performances.


They go on sale February 19, according to this new article in Broadway World, although the date isn't announced yet on the SCFTA site:
http://costamesa.bro...rebird-20110823

I don't know about Facebook, but they used to send out passwords for single ticket sales a week early to anybody who had bought any tickets at all the previous season. I have no idea if they'll continue that this season, but wouldn't be surprised.

#8 ksk04

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:50 PM

Added to the SCFTA program: Thirteen Diversions and Apollo :yahoo:

#9 little-junkie

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:46 AM

Segerstrom Center posted, on their Facebook page, this casting info regarding The Firebird:

"ABT has announced preliminary casting for the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Firebird. Scheduled to perform in The Firebird are three extraordinary ballerinas: Natalia Osipova, Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston. ABT's The Firebird will be performed March 29 – April 1, 2012."


Misty is dancing Firebird? That's a rather exciting news for me. I've been waiting to see when she would be given a chance to do a bigger role! :clapping:

#10 ksk04

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:29 PM

Added to the SCFTA program: Thirteen Diversions and Apollo :yahoo:


Apollo is gone from the triple; replacement = Duets. Posted Image

#11 ksk04

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:34 PM

If anyone is looking for a specific Firebird cast, the SCFTA website shows this info:

Firebird Casting:
Natalia Osipova
March 29th & 31st eve

Misty Copeland
March 30th & April 1st

Isabella Boylston
March 31 mat

#12 ksk04

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:44 PM

The night is upon us. Here's the final word on casting:

Program and Casting:
Thursday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Duets: Company
Thirteen Diversions: Maria Riccetto/Craig Salstein, Hee Seo/Cory Stearns, Stella Abrera/Eric Tamm,
Christine Shevchenko/Blaine Hoven
Firebird: Natalia Osipova, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Simone Messmer (Order: Firebird/Prince Ivan/Evil Kastchei/the Princess)

Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Duets: Company
Thirteen Diversions: Maria Riccetto/Craig Salstein, Hee Seo/Cory Stearns, Stella Abrera/Eric Tamm,
Christine Shevchenko/Blaine Hoven
Firebird: Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Roman Zhurbin, Maria Riccetto

Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m.
Duets: Company
Thirteen Diversions: Sarah Lane/Jared Matthews, Misty Copeland/Gray Davis, Kristi Boone/Thomas
Forster, Devon Teuscher/Daniel Mantei
Firebird: Isabella Boylston, Alexandre Hammoudi, Cory Stearns, Kristi Boone

Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Duets: Company
Thirteen Diversions: Sarah Lane/Jared Matthews, Misty Copeland/ Gray Davis, Kristi Boone/Thomas
Forster, Devon Teuscher/Daniel Mantei
Firebird: Natalia Osipova, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Simone Messmer

Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m.
Duets: Company
Thirteen Diversions: Maria Riccetto/Craig Salstein, Hee Seo/Cory Stearns, Stella Abrera/Eric Tamm,
Christine Shevchenko/Blaine Hoven
Firebird: Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Roman Zhurbin, Maria Riccetto


Also, Julie Kent leads a post-performance discussion this evening if anyone would like to stay after.

#13 ksk04

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:10 AM

A question to start: Is Hee Seo injured again? Misty Copeland and Gray Davis danced in the place of Seo/Stearns and since Stearns was on in Duets, I don't think the issue was him.

I'm not really sure what to make of The Firebird, to be honest. It felt like it was missing something, but I'm not sure what and perhaps the repeated viewing on Sunday will help clarify it. The stage is sparse, four huge trees loom as the only background, with digital projectionss filling in the rest. The ballet opens with a blank scrim down and Gomes (clad in all white) lying on the ground. He enters a door, and then we arrive in the enchanted forest. The Firebird has been robbed of her recognizable solo entrance music, and instead that music is used for a flock of Firebirds (male and female) dancing that build up to her arrival. Osipova enters and duets with Gomes, leaving him with a feather. The choreography is more atheltic than anything and reminds me of Wheeldon, oddly enough, at (what I consider) his worst: overly dependant partnering, lots of twisting, not a lot of lightness and flight that I associate with the Firebird. Osipova couldn't seem to decide how to play the role: is she vunerable? Saucy? In control? Every moment it seemed like this changed, and not in a cohesive way.

After Gomes receives his Firebird feather, we are treated to the arrival of the Maidens, dressed in tattered green dresses and ratty blonde&green wigs (perhaps better referred to a Zombie Unsocialized Swamp Ladies?), led by Simone Messmer. Gomes seems much more comfortable in this scene with Messmer (who really takes over the stage once her story kicks in); he turns on the charm and convinces his Unsocialized Swamp Lady to join him in a duet, while her Swamp Sisters alternately flirt with Gomes to attract his attention or pull them apart in jealousy. Messmer's characterization reminds me a little of the Mermaid in Neuemier's Little Mermaid: she is highly awkward, yet utterly captivating. They kiss and share an apple. Spurned, the Swamp Ladies all attempt to gain his affection with apples of their own (one apple didn't want to leave the stage--as Messmer tried to fling it off it hit the wing and bounced back in the path of dancers. One of the corps girls grabbed it and tried to fling it off again, only to have it hit a tree and bounce back at her).

Things get weird when Hallberg arrives as the Evil Kaschei; Hallberg seems wasted in this role (actually the role seem wasted in general) as it is little more than posing and preening--no real dancing. He has control over the Swamp Ladies and, once he arrives onstage, they are under his spell: he lines them up and sniffs at them, finally stopping with Messmer, giving her a kiss. Tasting (?) Ivan/Gomes on her mouth he becomes enraged, searching out Gomes and smelling him as well, confirming he is the culprit; he claims Messmer for his own. What could be a beautiful pas de trois that leads Messmer to be pulled between Gomes and Hallberg is, again, a lot of posing. Gomes finally pulls out the feather and Osipova flies back onstage. The four "dance" or really, pull, themselves about the stage until Osipova leads Gomes to an egg that will break the spell of the Kaschei. They really need to work this prop out a bit better because I don't think the cello player in the pit appreciated the piece of the egg that flew down and hit him. Messmer then undergoes a transformation, turning her into a beautiful maiden clad in white, as do all the Swamp Ladies. The trees open to reveal beautiful gilded interiors (and a lot of men clad in white). They dance, it ends.

Really, for me, Messmer was captivating and her vunerable, yet skittish, presence provided the most pathos to the ballet. I wish there was more dancing.

----
The rest of the evening: Duets was not to my taste. I spent most of the time watching the splendor of Veronika Part's limbs and back. I'm confused as to why ABT is listing this as Company when the majority of the dancers are principals (Kent, Part, Herrera, Reyes, Stearns). Considering the small amount of principals appearing on the rest of the run, it would be prudent to list them, especially since Kent and Herrera, at least, are extremely widely known in the area. I thought Arron Scott was very promising partnering Reyes--he looks a bit like a younger Sasha Radetsky, and seemed thrilled to be there. He had a spark in his eye that gave depth to his dancing.

I really enjoyed Thirteen Diversions. Seo was replaced by Copeland who was really glorious. She and Abrera ate up the stage. It cannot be said enough: what is up with Abrera's career? More than a few times I was watching the four lead women together and thought, 'Which one is moving so gloriously fast?" and it was Abrera. Moreover, she acts the part of the principal--commanding the stage in everything she does in a way that other ABT soloists offer only in tantalizing glimpses still. She's ready! Give her more! Copeland was softer than I've seen her before--she was very luxurious where she used to be harder, more rushed. I'm VERY excited to see her take on the Firebird on Sunday.

#14 Natalia

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

.....The stage is sparse, four huge trees loom as the only background, with digital projectionss filling in the rest. .....


"Sparse"... 'El Cheapo' strikes again! Posted Image

Thanks for the report, ksk04.

#15 California

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Here's the review that just appeared in the Orange County Register: http://www.ocregiste...-ratmansky.html

Here's the LA Times review:
http://latimesblogs....nge-county.html


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