The atmosphere at the Long Center on Sunday of the Ballet Austin’s season opener was calm and serene, probably a stark contrast to the people down the road at Zilker Park braving the mud at ACL Fest.
The make up of crowd was surprising. There were dozens of small children, especially little girls dressed up in tutus, carrying feather fans and signed pointe shoes bought at the colorful swag tables.
The performance started with the second act of Swan Lake. It was traditionally staged and performed, beautiful as it always is.
I however was more interested in seeing the Firebird. It was my first time seeing the Firebird actually performed as a ballet, and being a BIG Stravinsky fan I was excited. I was so thrilled with the performance, it was truly worthy of it’s composer. The choreography, stage effects and costumes were colorful and moody which perfectly reflected the complex and sometimes quirky nature of Stravinsky and his music. The costumes were fantastic and had a wide range of styles from the traditional red tutu of the Firebird to Kastchei the Immortal looking like he just left the set of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Afterward, choreographer Steven Mills held a question-and-answer session with the audience. He spoke briefly about the history of the Ballets Russes and the history of the Swan Lake and Firebird, then opened the floor to questions. It was an absolutley delightful afternoon and I can’t wait for Ballet Austin’s next production!
~Sarah Addison, Membership Associate