Russian ballet dance returns to the Bay

2018-05-30 06:00
Russian ballerinas in action.                                   Photos:Supplied

Russian ballerinas in action. Photos:Supplied

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THE Crown of the Russian Ballet dance company will perform a double bill, The Firebird and Paquita, at the PE Opera House on July 31 for two performances at 17:00 and 20:00.

Firebird is based on a Russian legend about a bird, a powerful good spirit, whose feathers convey beauty and protection upon the earth.

Other characters from Russian folklore, including the heroic Prince Ivan Tsarevich, and the evil sorcerer,Kashchei, from whom Ivan must rescue the princess he loves, are included in this ballet.

It is only through the intervention of the firebird, whose life Ivan spares early in the ballet, that he is able to destroy the evil Kashchei, and marry the princess.

Composer Stravinsky borrowed a few Russian folk melodies for this score, but most of the ballet, especially the fluttering dance of the firebird and the memorable wedding march at the ballet’s conclusion, were his own creation.

When Firebird was first performed in Paris in 1910, the principal ballerina refused to dance the role of the Firebird, declaring that she detested the music, and had to be replaced.

The ballerina’s objections notwithstanding, Stravinsky achieved instant recognition as one of the most original and powerful composers of his generation.

Paquita, a romantic ballet by Ludwig Minkus, tells the story of a beautiful Spanish girl, Paquita who, as an infant, was saved from a pirate massacre by a gypsy family.

Owing to her social standing, her romance with a French nobleman, Lucien, cannot flourish, but while travelling the country, gypsies help Paquita find her real family, and when it is discovered that she is the daughter of a nobleman, Paquita and Lucien reunite.

The ballet was first presented by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1846, and the next year Marius Petipa staged it for the Imperial Ballet of St Petersburg, as his very first work.

Bookings are now open at Computicket and block bookings receive a 10% discount.

For more info contact Monica Hewitson on 083 471 8893.

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