Women's Wear Daily

George Balanchine’s ‘Firebird’ Arrives in Miami

MIAMI — George Balanchine’s “Firebird” has flown the coop. His compressed rendition of the ballet — the first with a Russian storyline that Michel Fokine originally choreographed for the Ballets Russes in the early 20th century with Igor Stravinsky’s score — hasn’t been performed outside the New York City Ballet since its debut in 1949. Why? No one is exactly sure — but the production’s priceless sets and costumes painted by Marc Chagall certainly weren’t going anywhere. Now, after all these years, Miami City Ballet has emancipated the iconic work through new sets and costumes. It premiered in Miami on Feb. 14 and travels to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach through March 1. “It’s equitable to share masterpieces. That Mr. B’s ‘Firebird’ remained in one company is like if a museum hoarded all the Impressionists,” says Miami City Ballet artistic director Lourdes Lopez, a former NYCB principal who grew up within the work, having danced all of its female roles, from a cake bearer as a child (it was the first time she saw Mr. B on stage) to the lead. “I initially thought to digitally project Chagall’s art but never heard from his estate. So we came up with Plan B.” Since

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