To commemorate the 115th birth anniversary of Leonid Yacobson, we are proud to unveil a new show, titled One-Act Ballet Recital. The programme includes the revivals of Loenid Yacobson's ballet masterpieces and The Firebird one-act ballet. Our illustrious team has offered a fresh new approach to the classical plot of the legendary fairy-tale. The production was overseen by Douglas Lee, formerly a world-renowned danseur and now a guest choreographer at Stuttgarter Ballett, collaborating with the German theatre on a permanent basis and promoting the values of neoclassical ballet through his art. The scenery and costumes were created by Eva Adler, a prominent set designer, while Sakis Birbilis, who has more than 300 theatrical productions in his portfolio, worked on the lighting.
The premiere was part of the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum's Events Under Auspices cultural programme.
Douglas Lee, who propagates the principles of neoclassical ballet through his creativity, shares his experience of working on the new version of The Firebird:
'I have always loved both fairy-tales and the music of Stravinsky. So to create a new Firebird was something I’d had in mind for a while and was pleased to receive this invitation from the Yacobson Ballet Theatre, a company which has such a strong history of forward thinking dance and new choreographic work. As one of the most prominent Russian fairy-tales and remarkable pieces of music for dance I thought this was the right time and place to create this production.
'The story of the Firebird is particularly interesting to me for its four main characters: the Firebird, Ivan, Koschei and Tsarevna. They are three dimensional flawed characters which I hope to have encapsulated in this new creation. The potential for creating a new fantastical world on-stage was especially strong with this story and score.
'Symbolism is powerful in this story: 13 Princesses, the number 13 signifies the test, suffering and death. Its symbolism refers to the passage on to a higher level of existence. For the superstitious, however, this number brings bad luck or misfortune. The golden apples are significant in their symbolism of knowledge, immortality, temptation and the fall of man through sin. While for millennia, the egg has been a powerful symbol, representing the earth, fertility and resurrection. A single feather can act as a reminder that you are loved and protected and the expression of celestial wisdom. These are but a few of the briefest examples of the world of symbols that operate and resonate on many different levels.
'This story has many possible meanings and associations. Rather than be too specific about these items properties and various scenes throughout the piece I have created a more ambiguous atmosphere. The stage is a shifting landscape, a strange enchanted world in which the characters themselves are borne and obscured and where nothing is quite as it seems. Akin to a dream, or a nightmare, which is open to the individual viewers' interpretation.
'A company so rich in choreographic history such as Yacobson Ballet Theatre and its founder whose work was considered ultra-modern in the 20th century is the perfect choice to present this new creation and pursue this more contemporary vision of such a classic story'.
The Theatre would like to thank Mr. Toshihiko Takahashi for his personal contribution to staging the show.