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I do not understand...

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I do not understand. Here it is 2010, we have a ballerina with a more extravagant leap than any in previous history, a ballet with hauntingly beautiful music introducing one of the world's most celebrated 20th century composers... a ballet that took Paris by storm on it's premiere... (what is more representative of Ballets Russes' splashdown in Paris than "The Firebird"?)... And yet we are hearing very little about it. I do not understand. I realize that NYCB had it on the program in January, the Australian Ballet did it in 2009, but it seems very underplayed for a ballet of its fame in its centennial year. Are there issues with Fokine's estate? Are others' versions of it unpopular? Is it because it's not long enough on its own to fill a bill? Is it because many did it in 2009? What gives?

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From the Calendar:

Mariinsky Ballet (Fokine):

3 Apr 2011 12pm

As part of mixed bills:

Cincinnati Ballet (Hougland):

18 Mar 8pm

19 Mar 2pm and 8pm

Carolina Ballet (Weiss):

Thursday Evening, September 16 8pm

Friday Evening, September 17 8pm

Saturday Matinee, September 18 2pm

Saturday Evening, September 18 8pm

Sunday Matinee, September 19 2pm

Saturday Matinee, September 25 2pm

Saturday Evening, September 25 8pm

Sunday Matinee, September 26 2pm

Saturday Evening, October 2 2pm

Saturday Matinee, October 2 8pm

Sunday Matinee, October 3 2pm

Oregon Ballet Theatre (Possokhov):

26 Feb 2011 7:30pm

27 Feb 2011 2:00pm

4 Mar 2011 7:30pm

5 Mar 2011 7:30pm

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Thank you. But still... not so many major companies, no? Nothing turns up if I search "Recent Performances"... If I look under Ballets, it doesn't have it's own forum (not so big a deal) but the last time it was mentioned seems to be 2009 except in the list of how many Balanchine ballets one has seen... Doesn't it seem under-represented? It's as if the music world is giving it more attention than the ballet world...

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Pacific Northwest Ballet hasn't done their Firebird for several years -- before Peter Boal arrived as AD, and he's starting his sixth year.

I love the music, and am always interested in seeing different versions of the work (and would absolutely love to see some more performances of the Fokine choreography), but I do think the score is a difficult one. In a tricky way, it's a Petipa-era three-act ballet condensed into a half-hour work. You have the opening, that sets up the conflict and introduces the major characters, the big denoument that plays out the drama and solves the conflict, and the happy-ever-after celebratory act. Once the Firebird has vanquished the evil sorcerer, the procession of the princesses and the noblemen is awkward -- too long to be a single swoop up to the final tableau, and too short to allow for differentiation between performers (no variations). The music, which scrolls along, is so beautiful that I sometimes just close my eyes and listen, but it doesn't really support any distinctive action aside from the processionals. In fact, the best staging I've ever seen of that music is the retirement gala for Kent Stowell and Francia Russell here in Seattle -- their sons put together a big performance for them, and used the Stravinsky for a grande defile. The music just kept unspooling, and the dancers just kept sweeping through the space.

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