By Jo Anne Triplett for LEO Weekly
November 8, 2017
Contemporary life likes to shake things up to make them, well, more modern. Bourbon is added to ice cream, stores are open on Thanksgiving for Christmas shopping, and a classical ballet now focuses on refugees.
The Louisville Ballet is presenting “Stravinsky!” with two ballets by innovative Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). “Rubies” is first on the program.
With “Rubies,” you get a collaborative twofer — choreography by George Balanchine performed to Stravinsky’s music. One section of the ballet “Jewels” (along with “Emeralds” and “Diamonds”), “Rubies” is danced to Stravinsky’s “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra.” The costumes and set design are from Balanchine’s 1967 production.
Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet’s artistic and executive director, has said they will perform a Balanchine dance every season. “Rubies is a powerful work, the music is extraordinary and Balanchine’s choreography brings it to life through movement,” he said. “And as you enjoy the centerpiece of the incredible full evening ballet “Jewels,” … look forward to the day we get to bring the entire masterpiece to Louisville.”
On the other hand, “Firebird” is where the rules are broken. With choreography by Lucas Jervies, one of the Louisville Ballet’s resident choreographers, and scenic/costume designs by Elizabeth Gadsby, this world premiere is quite different from the classical ballet of yore. First presented in 1910, that fantastical world told the tale of a half-bird, half-woman Firebird and her dealings with an evil magician and the not-so-bright Prince Ivan. It’s good vs. evil.