The English National Ballet has recently been performing the re-imagined Firebird, the signature work of the Ballets Russes’. The adaptation is done by George Williamson and the changes are quite notable. For one the apple tree has been removed and so has the scarlet tutu. Additionally, much of the Russian narrative has been removed that was previously heard from the Princes and sorcerers.
The score by Stravinsky in the production is as strong as ever and the ballet dancers prove their skill with some incredible moves. It is fantastic to see that the English National Ballet is confident enough to take such a classic ballet and change it into something new. However, despite the great performances of the dancers, the production comes off as a bit confused.
That said, the moment when the Rite of Spring occurs is masterful. The powerful music, combined with the strong dancing, is quite amazing and the audience will find themselves blown away with the power of the moment. The ballet manages to retain the power of shock that the original ballet had, even 100 years after the original ballet was created. The choreography has proven itself timeless in this new production.