Igor Stravinsky

The Firebird

ballet in one act based on Russian folk tales

Age 6+

Dates

Libretto and choreography: Michel Fokine
Reconstruction of choreography and staging: People’s Artist of Russia Andris Liepa
Musical director: Honoured Artist of Ukraine Viktor Ploskina
Sets and costumes: Leon Bakst
Lighting designer: Nina Ivankina
Assistant ballet masters: Honoured Artist of Russia Svetlana Romanova, Honoured Artist of Russia Igor Pivorovich
Conductor: Aleh Lessoun, Recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Andrei Galanov

Running time: 40 minutes
Premiere: 3 October 2014

6

Pursuing the Firebird, Prince Ivan finds himself in Kashchey’s ominous kingdom. His castle looms in the distance, surrounded by the enchanted garden and the stone wall. Golden apples shine with mysterious light in the magic tree.

Like a flame of fire, the Firebird flies down on the tree and doesn’t notice Prince Ivan. After a long chase Ivan manages to seize her. The Firebird tries to break free from the Prince’s strong arms and fly away, and implores him to give her freedom. Prince Ivan yields to the entreaties. To thank him, the Firebird gives him a magic feather which possesses miraculous power, and flies off.

Captive tsarevnas walk down from the tall tower to Kashchey’s garden. They make merry around the tree with golden apples. Prince Ivan falls in love with one of them, the Beautiful Tsarevna.

Suddenly, Kashchey’s vicious servants appear in all the parts of the enchanted garden. Finally, Kashchey the Immortal comes out, with a long gray beard touching the ground, with his fingers resembling the roots of an old tree. Leaning on his staff, he approaches Ivan slowly and menacingly. Anyone who dares to sneak into Kashchey’s kingdom will get to know his rage. The Prince is threatened with sharing the lot of numerous valiant knights – to be turned into stone.

For the sake of the beloved, Prince Ivan fights with Kashchey the Immortal and his army. Ivan uses the Firebird’s gift, the magical feather, to summon her to his rescue. The Firebird begins an infectious wild dance, compelling Kashchey and his servants to participate until they collapse from exhaustion. Meanwhile, Prince Ivan finds and breaks the magic egg containing Kashchey’s death. Kashchey's heathen kingdom disintegrates, and nightmares disappear. The knights awake from the spell and return to life. An impressive sunny apotheosis crowns the ballet.

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