Festival Ballet

Festival Ballet's Triple Bill
Firebird, Soledad & Extremes
Performing Arts Center
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
1 Avenue of the Arts
Providence RI
February 13* & 14 at 730pm
February 15 at 230pm
Prices: $12.00 to $50.00*
Festival Ballet 401-353-1129
VMA Box Office: 401-272-4862
* $5.00 off on Friday Tickets!
Also student half price rush tickets one hour before curtain
ID required


FIREBIRD and Soledad & Extremes
Festival Ballet Providence celebrates Valentine's Day weekend with a special production of Firebird, and MORE! Three performances featuring the romance of Firebird, Extremes and Soledad take place February 13 thru 15, 2003 at the VMA Arts and Cultural Center, Providence, Rhode Island.

Igor Stravinsky's dramatic score comes to life in a magical forest setting. Based on a famous Russian fairy tale, this story ballet tells the story of Prince Ivan, who is lost in the forest and mistakenly enters an enchanted garden belonging to the immortal Katschai, an evil ogre. Ivan discovers the source of a brilliant light, the Firebird, in a tree of golden apples, and captures her after a frantic struggle. He is amazed at her simultaneous likeness to both a bird and woman's form. He graciously releases her when he realizes the importance of her freedom. In gratitude, the Firebird gives Ivan one of her feathers as a magic charm.

Ivan spies eleven princesses and falls in love with Elena, the most beautiful. They dance until dawn, when they must return to the palace of Katschai, who has captured them and who has them under his power. After following the princesses to the palace, Ivan is captured by Katschai's guardian monsters. Ivan remembers the magic feather and summons the Firebird, who puts a spell on the monsters, making them dance in a spectacular display until they collapse in exhaustion on the ground. She then shows Ivan the secret of Katschai's immortality, a magic egg containing his soul. Ivan destroys it and releases the princesses from the enchantment.

The kingdom emerges from darkness, and in the light of the new day, the ballet ends with the joyous marriage of Prince Ivan and Princess Elena.

Igor Feodorovich Stravinsky
Stravinsky was born June 18, 1882, near St. Petersburg. His was a musical family, with his father a lead bass singer at the Imperial Opera House. He began to study the piano at an early age and made rapid progress with his music, although he was largely self-taught. Stravinsky studied law, not music, at the university level, but continued with his composing in collaboration with Rimsky-Korsikov's studio, becoming a student of the older composer in 1906.

His first great success came when Serge Diaghilev commissioned the young composer to write a work for his company, the Ballet Russes. Stravinsky had worked briefly with Diaghilev one season earlier as the orchestrator of two Chopin pieces for the ballet Les Sylphides. Stravinksy was not the first choice of composer, in fact he was the fifth to be asked. Working together closely with Ballet Russes choreographer Mikhail Fokine, Stravinsky began work in November of 1909, with a scenario devised by the poet Pyotr Potyomkin, and completed the work the next spring. He then worked brilliantly with the others on the production,including costume designers Golovine and Bakst. The result was the production of Stravinsky's first masterpiece, The Firebird, which premiered later at the Paris Opera in June of 1910, starring Michael Fokine, Tamara Karsavina and Enrico Cecchetti.. It was an instant success, bringing Stravinsky worldwide fame. For the rest of his life, this would be his most frequently performed work.

Later in his career, Stravinksy became associated with the brilliant Russian choreographer, George Balanchine, who choreographed a number of ballets to Stravinsky's music, among them Appollon Musagete, Scherzo a la Russe, Pulcinella and Agon. Stravinsky is known not only for his ballet scores, but also for major operas such as Oedipus Rex and The Rake's Progress. In 1939 he fled Europe for the United States where he lived until his death on April 6, 1971.

Dimitrije Parlic (inspired Mr. Djuric's Firebird)
Festival Ballet Providence Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric's earliest dance education and most enduring inspiration came from Dimitrije Parlic (1916-1986), Yugoslavia's most talented, famous, and prolific choreographer of the twentieth century. Dimitrije Parlic, creator of the original choreography on which this version of Firebird is based, studied acting and ballet at an early age. Upon graduation from the Drama and Ballet School in Belgrade, he went on to further his education in Vienna and Bonn. His first engagement was as an actor at the National Theatre of Belgrade. At the age of 22, Parlic joined the Ballet Company of the National Theatre of Belgrade and began his long successful career in the dance world.

During his 50 year career, Parlic choreographed 140 ballets and operas for theaters all over the world. Besides the National Theatre of Belgrade, Parlic was also the Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer for the StatsOper in Vienna, Austria, and Balleto di Roma, Italy.

Choreographed in 1996 by Mihailo Djuric, Extremes premiered at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH as part of the New Hampshire MacDowell Celebration, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the MacDowell Colony. The work is set to a mesmerizing score by composer and 18-time MacDowell colonist, Barbara Kolb. Inspired by the contrasting instrumental voices of cello and flute, Mr. Djuric crafted this duet in the most contemporary and abstract sensibility. In this piece the dancers take full advantage of Ms. Kolb's evocative and emotional score; every nuance in the music's polarity is used to its fullest in stark movements that appear, change and vanish. Pushed to the extreme, the dancers use their long limbs and picture perfect lines to accentuate the drama of the music, creating visual images of delicate balance between the timber of the instruments and the rhythmicity and lyricism of the score. Ms. Kolb is currently in the third year of a three year Meet the Composer/New Residencies grant as composer-in-residence, working with Festival Ballet Providence, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, and WaterFire Providence.

Extremes is set to the music of 18-time McDowell fellow and Providence Composer-In-Resident Barbara Kolb. From the feeling of such contrasts in the voices of cello and flute, and from Kolb's use of the extreme ends of the ranges of those instruments, Djuric created a pas de deux, thinking of the opposite extremes of gender in male and female. "The dancing is very angular, very sharp. I'm pushing each of the dancers to the maximum with legs and lines, stretching them to extremes." It's love with a hard edge.

Set to the tango-infused music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzola, Soledad looks at loneliness and loss - it reflects on the past and expresses the sadness of the losses in our lives while the world continues its daily rhythm. Djuric explains, " We've all suffered loss in our lives, so each audience member will react differently to the piece. Everyone will easily relate to that sense." It includes a pivotal romantic pas de deux that is both thrilling and emotional.

For ticket information, please contact Festival Ballet Providence at 401.353.1129.


Composers: Igor Feodorovich Stravinsky
Choreography: Mihailo Djuric, based on that of Dimitrije Parlic
Costume Design: Mihailo Djuric
Costume execution: reda Bromberg, Patricia Dubois, Leona Difusco
Headpieces and accessories: Ann Beretta Morsilli, Mary Ann Mayer, Mihailo Djuric
Lighting Design: Deb Sullivan
Additional Set Design: Doug Goepfert
Firebird Leticia Guerrero
Ivan Tsarevich Gleb Lyamenkoff
Princess Elena Jennifer Ricci
Handmaidens/Princesses Emily Bromberg, Daniela Debrot, Carolyn Dellinger, Marissa Gomer, Elizabeth Jessee, Karla Kovatch, Caitlyn Novero, Heather O'Halloran, Beth Petkus, Jennifer Young
Katschei the Immortal Eivar Sair, Piotr Ostaltsov
Monsters Ashley Andreis, Emily Bromberg, Siobhan Chavarria, Daniela Debrot, Carolyn Dellinger, Hadley Eames, Marissa Gomer, Elizabeth Jessee, Karla Kovatch, Nina Lauro, Alexandra Liszewsky, Sarah Medeiros, Caitlyn Novero, Heather O'Halloran, Beth Petkus, Jessica Whiteley, Sarah Medeiros, Jennifer Young, Cameron Baldassarra, James Brown, Brandon Martin, Eivar Sair, Piotr Ostaltsov, Ty Parmenter, Davide Vittorino
Knights Cameron Baldassarra, James Brown, Frank Campisano, Mark Fleisher, Brandon Martin, Eivar Sair/Piotr Ostaltsove, Ty Parmenter, Davide Vittorino
The creation of Firebird was made possible by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation.
Scenery courtesy of the Louisville Ballet, Bruce Simpson, Artistic Director
Choreography Mihailo Djuric
Composer Barbara Kolb
Costume Design Katherine Doyle
Lighting Design Deb Sullivan
Dancers: Leticia, Karla, Gleb, Davide
The creation of Extremes was made possible by generous donations from Hilda & Edward Fleisher and an anonymous donor in honor of Hilda Weil Wallerstein.
Choreography Mihailo Djuric
Music Astor Piazzola
Costume Design Mihailo Djuric
Lighting Design Deb Sullivan
Karla Kovatch, Piotr Ostaltsov
Leticia Guerro, James Brown/Davide Vittorino, Jennifer Ricci, Eivar Sair, Carolyn Dellinger, Cameron Baldassarra, Daniela Debrot, Ty Parmenter (understudies include: Beth Petkus, Emily Bromberg, Elizabeth Jessee, Heather O'Halloran.
The creation of Soledad was made possible in part by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation, the Papoutsy Arts Ventures Fund and the Krasker Fund for the Arts and Humanities.
Leticia Guerrero and Jennifer Ricci
Gleb Lyamenkoff
Heather O'Halloran
This season Festival Ballet Providence is offering a special Five Dollar Off Fridays promotion, to encourage audiences to experience the excitement of opening night. Reserved tickets (priced from $15 to $50) and season subscriptions are available by contacting Tickets are now on sale, with prices ranging from $12 to $50. Advanced reserved tickets may be purchased by contacting Festival Ballet Providence at 401.353.1129, ordering online at, (also 800.919.6272), or through the VMA box office. Email inquiries may be directed to Group discounts are available.

This production of Firebird is made possible in part by season Presenting Sponsor Sovereign Bank, The Providence Journal, season television sponsor NBC10, Clear Channel Communications and ongoing support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Deborah Nash at
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