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Stravinsky: The Firebird (Choreography: James Kudelka) / Greta Hodgkinson, A. Antonijevic et al.; Kirov Orchestra; Gergiev [DVD]

Album Summary

>Stravinsky, Igor : Firebird
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Firebird is an exciting one-hour dance special based on the mystical Russian folk tale of enchantment and love, set to Stravinsky's fantastical ballet score. This adaption of James Kudelka's masterpiece for the stage combines classical ballet with magical visual effects. Mr. Kudelka's choreography is by turns elegant, virtuosic but always passionate and musically evocative. The Firebird features the top dancers from the internationally renowned National Ballet of Canada, including the great Greta Hodgkinson (nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2000) as the main role, Aleksandar Antonijevic as Prince Ivan, Rebekah Rimsay as Princess Vasilisa, and the unforgettable Rex Harrington as Kastchei the Demon. Conductor Valery Gergiev leads The Kirov Orchestra in the performance of the music. Both the DVD and Blu-ray disc editions are packaged in a luxury digipak.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 53 min.
Region: 0
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): PCM Stereo,


Lovely performance based on Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”
This DVD from EuroArts based on Stravinsky’s folk tale of love and enchantment, features a combination of wonderful classical dancing coupled with more modern visual effects. This production by dancers of the National Ballet of Canada and starring Greta Hodgkinson in the title role (she is stunning) and Aleksandar Antonijevec as Prince Ivan (and fantastic work does he do here!) is a treat to watch even though it is more than just the stereotypical ballet production. Then again, the Kirov Orchestra is conducted by Valery Gergiev, and for this listener Mr. Gergiev always brings something extra to anything he is involved with. Yes, I’m in the “I like Gergiev” camp, so if you aren’t then it may be that this production is not for you.

The visual effects, while initially unexpected, ended up being a positive part of the whole for me, and the dancing was wonderful to behold. I found the somewhat minimalist sets to be particularly fitting, and the piece as a whole to be satisfying on both a physical and emotional level. While seeing the production without the visual effects would have certainly been satisfactory (particularly owing to Mr. Gergiev’s contributions from the orchestra pit as well as the artistry of the dancers), I found the visual effects to be both pleasing and a worthwhile addition to the story being told.

The DVD itself is well produced, and the sound and visual quality are excellent.. This is a wonderful production of “The Firebird”, and if the piece is one that you favor, or Stravinsky’s music is of interest, then you owe it to yourself to see this particular performance. Recommended.

Submitted on 01/04/16 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Stravinsky, Igor : Firebird
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: Kirov Orchestra
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1933
  • Studio/Live: Studio