Fine Art Friday: North Star Ballet’s “The Firebird.”

A few weeks ago I mentioned a new posting theme: Fine Art Friday. That has been the first, and only, installment. Until now.

North Star Ballet School, in Fairbanks, Alaska, will premier The Firebird this weekend, a ballet based on a Russian fairy tale, and set to music by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. A full article about the local production with dancer, director and seamstress interviews can be found at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

It’s a standard fairy-tale plot, a prince battles evil to free a damsel in distress, in this case calling on the Firebird to help him defeat the evil Kotschei. Dancers adorn bold, bright and colorful costumes, especially Kotschei’s cape and a group of monsters under his control. Continuing with vivid colors, the second act includes three short pieces, Red Arc/Blue Veil, Suite With Hats, and Der Rosenkavalier Waltzes. 

Firebird has performances at UAF’s Salisbury Theatre, Friday April 19 at 8 p.m., Saturday April 20 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday April 21 at 2 p.m.

Kotschie (Jarrin Overholt,) is banished by the Firebird (Wendy Langton,) as Prince Ivan (Ian Ziesel,) looks on

Kotschie (Jarrin Overholt,) is banished by the Firebird (Wendy Langton,) as Prince Ivan (Ian Ziesel,) looks on

Monster capture and torment Prince Ivan

Monsters capture and torment Prince Ivan

The Firebird and Prince Ivan dance together in the forest.

The Firebird and Prince Ivan dance together in the forest.

Red Arc/Blue Veil is not a dance with a narrative. Instead it is a study in movement and music. Composed by Fairbanks-based, but internationally-renowned composer John Luther Adams, Red Arc/Blue Veil is metaphorical piece about the Aurora Borealis, exploring the geometry of time and color.  Fluid successions of movement rise and fall, crisscrossing the stage. Lighting – green, red, blue, and purple – strengthen enhance the ethereal feel.

Movement and form is repeated in a canonical form, meaning the same steps but at different times.

Movement and form are repeated in a canonical form, meaning the same steps, but at different times.

A fitting, and fantastic, lens flare for a piece symbolizing the northern lights.

A fitting, and fantastic, lens flare for a piece symbolizing the northern lights.

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