Wednesday, May 11, 2005



The American Ballet Theater is having a special series of performances of Fokine's ballets beginning on June 16 with Les Sylphides.

Mikhail Fokine is the choreographer reknowned for breaking with 19th century dance and creating a new concept of ballet for the 20th century. According to the ABT program, "With Les Sylphides, Fokine broke from the traditional story narrative to inhabit an entirely new poetic terrain, evoking an image of classical beauty in its most ethereal form."

ABT is also presenting Petrouchka, Le Spectre de la Rose, and the Polovtsian Dances.

Although, according to the ABT Press Office, they are not directly involved in these productions, Fokine's family continues to be active in ballet in and around New York.

Fokine's granddaughter, Isabelle Fokine, has reconstructed, with Andris Liepa, Fokine's classic choreography in productions around the world. A beautiful and charismatic woman, she can be seen at work in the film "Fighting For Fokine," which is periodically presented on cable television -- often on Ovation. Her version of Firebird can actually be seen this summer also, though not in New York. You would have to travel to the Mariinsky Theater in Russia.

According to the Mariinsky program notes, "FIREBIRD -- Premiere: 25 June 1910, Les Ballets Russes de Serge de Diaghilev, Theatre de lĀ“Opera, Paris. In the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1994."

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