Jump to content


New production of Firebird by RatmanskyPremiere on March 29, 2012


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#31 Kerry1968

Kerry1968

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts

Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:21 PM

Stumbled upon this while wandering around in Youtube:



#32 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:16 PM



.....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


I love that you can be so dismissive of something you haven't seen.
.....


I saw it now. I can definitively state: El Cheapo has struck again! Posted Image

In her review for Dancetabs.com, Marina Harss writes:
The designs, by Simon Pastukh (who also worked on “On the Dnieper”) are haunting, weird, almost post-apocalyptic. One could call them ugly.

Damn right there!

I feel sorry for people who paid more than I did to see this. Mr. Pastukh, you're no Benois!

#33 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 666 posts

Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:20 PM




.....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


I love that you can be so dismissive of something you haven't seen.
.....


I saw it now. I can definitively state: El Cheapo has struck again! Posted Image

In her review for Dancetabs.com, Marina Harss writes:
The designs, by Simon Pastukh (who also worked on “On the Dnieper”) are haunting, weird, almost post-apocalyptic. One could call them ugly.

Damn right there!


I thought the designs and costumes were very interesting, visually arresting, and not cheap looking in the slightest.
From still photos I wasn't sure if I would like the firebird costume itself, but I found I did, quite a bit. And I thought the set design was fantastic.
Besides, at least the colors weren't drab, right? ;)

I really thought it was a stunning production.

#34 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,559 posts

Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

The design elements are the least of the problems with this Firebird. The choreography is at the heart of what's wrong here. Even if you changed the sets and costumes, it would, in my opinion, still be a very poorly constructed ballet.

#35 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,755 posts

Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

I didn't think it looked cheap, just campy.

#36 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:12 AM

The design elements are the least of the problems with this Firebird. The choreography is at the heart of what's wrong here. Even if you changed the sets and costumes, it would, in my opinion, still be a very poorly constructed ballet.


I totally agree, Abatt. However, even in 1910 (Benois/Bakst) and the early '20s (Goncharova's new designs for the original Fokine), the designs of Firebird were equal in beauty and effectiveness to Fokine's steps and Stravinsky's score. That was the enchantment of the total oevre, The Firebird. Beauty and majesty in all three elements -- music, choreography and designs. [To think that, until recently, ABT still performed the gorgeous Fokine-Goncharova version! Maybe those designs are somewhere in MacKenzie's attic and they can be resurrected?]

Example of new designs that were beautiful, romantic, enchanting: Geoffrey Holder's for that unforgettable Firebird by Dance Theater of Harlen in the 1980s, set in a lush tropical garden with huge orchids....the exquisite white-chiffon scarves on the bejeweled semi-nude bodies of the princesses!

I have nothing against change; I just hate changing something from lovely to ugly-cheap.

#37 Mrs. Stahlbaum

Mrs. Stahlbaum

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

It's interesting sometimes, the things that we find beautiful. I saw Firebird twice in California. The first time, I thought it was okay, but I spent most of my time trying to understand the sets, the costumes and the choreography. The second time I saw it (with Misty Copeland), I absolutely fell in love with it, and it surprised me. I am a costume designer who loves traditional story ballets. I have many books on Russian clothing, Russian royalty, Faberge eggs, fairy tales and the beautiful book of Firebird illustrated by Boris Zvorykin. So I went to Firebird hoping to see some of that old-world elegance. Once I got over the fact that it was not going to be the way I expected it to be, I was able to see how perfect it was. To me, the choreography WAS the music come to life. The sets and costumes became more of a fantasy than the traditional fairy tale look that I am attracted to.

I don't know why this happens sometimes. When I go to an art museum, there's so much art to see, that I tend to go see my favorite styles, breezing through the areas with the type of art that I don't particularly care for. But then, sometimes, something catches my eye that speaks to me, even though it's beauty was not channeled through "my style" of art.

I have limited funds to see all the ballets that I would like to, so I will still tend to make my choices based on what I think I will like to see, but it was nice for me to get a reminder that I might be missing out on a lot of beauty by limiting myself that way.

#38 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,018 posts

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:48 AM

The first time, I thought it was okay, but I spent most of my time trying to understand the sets, the costumes and the choreography. The second time I saw it (with Misty Copeland), I absolutely fell in love with it, and it surprised me. I am a costume designer who loves traditional story ballets. I have many books on Russian clothing, Russian royalty, Faberge eggs, fairy tales and the beautiful book of Firebird illustrated by Boris Zvorykin. So I went to Firebird hoping to see some of that old-world elegance. Once I got over the fact that it was not going to be the way I expected it to be, I was able to see how perfect it was. To me, the choreography WAS the music come to life. The sets and costumes became more of a fantasy than the traditional fairy tale look that I am attracted to.


Critic Marina Harss made a similar observation, which, like her, I find true of every Ratmansky I've seen: "Sometimes the second time is the charm." There's always so much going on, and from what I've seen, he deliberately blurs the focus from the main characters, leaving it up to the audience to decide where to look. That's not a notably comfortable place.

#39 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:37 AM

Critic Marina Harss made a similar observation, which, like her, I find true of every Ratmansky I've seen: "Sometimes the second time is the charm." There's always so much going on, ....


The problem with this: Who the heck has the money nowadays to give this ballet 'a second chance'? It's easy for critics who get 'comp tickets' to write this sort of thing. Rarely have I experienced a ballet so ugly that I wouldn't give it a second chance. There has to be a redeeming value for a normal paying spectator (even if he/she has the money) to even want to set foot a 2nd time in the theater if the 1st viewing was klunker. Balanchine knew this and ensured that audiences 'got it' the first time.

#40 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,755 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:49 AM

PAMTGG

#41 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,755 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:52 AM

Balanchine changed his ballets over time. I am not defending this Firebird, but I don't think the criticism is apt.

#42 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:52 AM

Even geniuses have off days; yes, that was a klunker too. But Mr.B. got Firebird right!

Did the normal paying public go back to give PAMTGG a "second chance"?

Some ballets just have to be killed instantly...but I'm sure 'Ardani Ballet Theater' has sunk a lot of cash into this one.

PLUS - what a big embarrassment it would be for ABT to ditch AR's Firebird immediately, when it has yet to be shown in Holland, as Dutch National Ballet co-sponsored the production!!! [No doubt, with an eye to continuing the 'Golding-Tsygankova Collection' of DVDs, which is unending.]

#43 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,559 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:16 AM

[size=4]The opening night playbill had an insert listing who made the Firedbird possible. David H. Koch was at the top of the list. Based on that I'm sure there will be plenty of money available to tinker with the details. People will be forced to see this again if they want to see the Dream, because they stuck it in as the second ballet on the program for every performance of the Dream. At least it's last, so you can leave early. [/size]

#44 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:25 AM

Also, Koch is not subsidizing ticket prices, as funders did in Balanchine's heyday, which might soften audiences hearts to these duds. And they're hyped up as masterpieces before the first step is even choreographed. I think the problem here too is not so much that Ratmansky made a bad ballet within a trajectory of a mostly successful career, but that ABT, with all its history and expertise, produced yet another high-priced clunker. If I were a patron I'd be thinking of all the starving children I could save...

#45 aurora

aurora

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 666 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:25 AM

[size=4]The opening night playbill had an insert listing who made the Firedbird possible. David H. Koch was at the top of the list. People will be forced to see this again if they want to see the Dream, because they stuck it in as the second ballet on the program for every performance of the Dream. At least it's last, so you can leave early. [/size]


I wont be "forced" to see it again. Instead I am looking forward to seeing it again as I actually very much liked it the first time.

It was not a critical failure and many people did enjoy it.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):