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New production of Firebird by Ratmansky

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I'd also love to know what has changed. I agree with Abatt that Russian Seasons and Concerto DSCH are among AR's best. I like it best when he 'takes things straight' and doesn't sink into silly comedy, especially within ballets that aren't supposed to be comedies. Bright Stream is supposed to be a comedy, so it works (even though I much prefer the fancier Bolshoi designs to the threadbare ABT edition).

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I saw it now. I can definitively state: El Cheapo has struck again! toot.gif

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!

"Ugly" is not necessarily an insult. I read it here as "forbidding," consistent with the other descriptions Ms. Harss uses. I saw the premiere, and I thought the set had a cold kind of beauty. I much preferred it to the costumes, especially of the maidens -- so unflattering! And I mean "unflattering" as an unambiguous insult. devil.gif

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.

I've been going for $20 per shot ($25 on Saturdays). I don't mind standing on those rare occasions when I actually have to for the whole evening. wink1.gif

It's hard to go to a performance of a ballet with a familiar title and familiar music and put aside all of our associations with the familiar version/s. I found myself resisting Ratmansky's choreography both here and in Nutcracker. For all my efforts to keep up, I'm still essentially a 20th Century gal, and Ratmansky is clearly making ballets for the 21st. It takes a concerted effort to be open to him. I'm giving myself at least two more opportunities with Firebird this season.

I think that if you'd been around in 1957, you would have heard a LOT of grumbling at the premiere of Agon, people swearing they'd never return to it. It's 45 years old now, old enough to be considered a small-c classic, but it looks like it was made yesterday. What Balanchine did in 1957 prepared his audience to be ready to embrace, at their premieres in 1972, ballets like Duo Concertant and Symphony in Three Movements. My grandmother, born in the 1880s, took me to New York City Ballet a few times in the late '60s and very early '70s. She never did develop a taste for the leotard ballets. dunno.gif

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Natalia Osipova replaces Misty Copeland in the Saturday matinee of The Firebird (and is still also scheduled for that evening's performance).

Abatt reported this a couple of minutes ago in the Copeland Injury thread (based on the update of the ABT performance calendar), but I thought it would be best to include this information on this thread as well.

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