Firebird and Other Legends
A celebration of three timeless ballets - Firebird, Petrouchka, and Les Sylphides - performed by The Australian Ballet at the Sydney Opera House, and broadcast live on ABC2.
Hosted by Jennifer Byrne and Chris Taylor, Firebird and other legends features choreographer Graeme Murphy's brand-new interpretation of Firebird, plus two of Mikhail Fokine's best-known works, the sublime Les Sylphides and the vibrant ballet classic Petrouchka.
During interval we cross live to all the excitement behind the scenes at the ballet. Dancers and artistic staff will share their insights into the work that goes into staging such a large scale production.
The three ballets:
Firebird: Graeme Murphy's critically acclaimed Firebird is inspired by Mikhail Fokine's masterful interpretation of an old Russian folktale from 1910. This world-premiere ballet explores the story of a magical bird that bestows wishes and curses in equal measure. Sergei Diaghilev commissioned a 28-year-old Stravinsky to create the score, making the composer a star overnight.
Petrouchka: Another great Fokine/Stravinsky collaboration set against the colourful backdrop of a village fair, Petrouchka follows the foibles and flirtations of a group of puppets who come to life. Stravinsky's score imbues the puppets with great depth of feeling, especially poor Petrouchka, in love with a ballerina-doll who rejects his affections.
Les Sylphides: The ethereal beauty of Fokine's choreography combined with the dreamy nocturnes of Chopin's music has established Les Sylphides as one of the most famous and popular of all Romantic ballets. Set in a moonlight-flooded glade, the enchanting sylphs, partnered by a lone poet, make for a ballet that's both otherworldly while sublimely human.
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