The George Balanchine Foundation
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Igor Stravinsky (1909-10, dedicated to Andrei Rimsky- Korsakov [third ballet suite, for reduced orchestra, 1945])
George Balanchine
Scenery and costumes by Marc Chagall (from the Ballet Theatre production, 1945). Scenery executed by Eugene B. Dunkel Studios; costumes executed by Edith Lutyens. Lighting by Jean Rosenthal
November 27, 1949, New York City Ballet, City Center of Music and Drama, New York. Conductor: Leon Barzin
Firebird, Maria Tallchief; Prince Ivan, Francisco Moncion; Prince’s Bride, Pat McBride; Kastchei, Edward Bigelow; Chief Monster, Beatrice Tompkins; 8 Maidens, 19 Monsters
Performance Type
See Also
Video Archives Recording
George Balanchine Foundation Interpreters Archive (BERCEUSE), 1996; (Firebird solo, pas de deux, BERCEUSE), 1998
Balanchine’s 1949 production of Firebird was made with the assistance of Stravinsky. Balanchine had danced in Lopukhov’s production in Petrograd in 1921, and during his years with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes performed Kastchei in Fokine’s version of 1910; Lincoln Kirstein saw him dance this role in 1926. Balanchine’s setting of Firebird brought the New York City Ballet and Maria Tallchief to international attention and provided the new company with its first major success.
Additional Productions
New York City Ballet: 1970, largely rechoreographed; choreography for Monsters by Jerome Robbins; 1972 (Stravinsky Festival), choreography for Firebird made more stately, with few dance steps; new costume with long train and large wings (modified in 1974); 1980, revised choreography for Firebird incorporating some passages from 1949 version; gold costume and lighter train.
New Productions by Balanchine Companies
New York City Ballet: 1970, new scenery from Chagall designs executed under the supervision of Volodia Odinokov, costumes by Karinska, lighting by Ronald Bates; 1972, 1980, new costumes for Firebird by Karinska (uncredited on programs).

1965   Ballet of Los Angeles
1981   Chicago City Ballet (Closed)
1982   Kansas City Ballet
1988   Texas Ballet (formerly Fort Worth Dallas Ballet)
1996   Texas Ballet (formerly Fort Worth Dallas Ballet)
1997   Diablo Ballet
2004   Ballet Arlington

Recorded Performances
1995, Nonesuch, The Balanchine Library: Dancing for Mr. B (excerpts from BERCEUSE)
1989, Seahorse Films, Dancing for Mr. B (excerpts from BERCEUSE)

1952? pas de deux (BBC [London])
1954 pas de deux (NBC)
1956 Berceuse (CBS, Look Up and Live, “Expression of Life in Motion”)
1998 Berceuse and pas de deux (PBS, “Dancing for Mr. B.”)

Source Notes

Additional information about choreography for the Firebird provided by Maria Tallchief