Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Dancers from Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will perform The Firebird ballet in a contemporary style featuring Vietnamese folk dance at Hà Nội Opera House today and tomorrow.
The Firebird by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky was first performed in Paris in 1910. The composer’s score for The Firebird is noted for marking the transformation of ballet from classical to modernist form.
The ballet is based on Russian folk tales which feature a magical glowing bird that is a blessing and a curse to its captor. What The Firebird had was a magical power, which he offered to serve a prince who had captured him, in return for the bird’s freedom. The prince went on to fall in love with one of a gaggle of young princesses, all of whom offered a playful performance.
Enter the bad guys, led by the Tyrant, who proceeded to plunder the princesses. The prince called on the Firebird to intervene in this clash between good and evil before peace and order were restored.
The Firebird has challenged the imagination of the choreographers of different tradition and styles across the years. The Vietnamese version was choreographed by Swedish Lars Andersen under cultural co-operation between Việt Nam and Sweden.
"The work combines three styles of ballet, modern and folk dances," said leading dancer Phan Văn Lương, who plays the Firebird. "This Swedish-Vietnamese version of The Firebird kept with the theme of traditional Vietnamese aesthetic and minimalism."
The Vietnamese version features the leading role played by a ballet dancer and not a ballerina as in the original. Lương was selected to replace the leading ballerina to act the Firebird days before the dance premiered about ten years ago.
The Firebird is a part of the annual show by VNOB which also includes extracts from Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville; Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice; Charles Gounod’s Faust; Bedřich Smetana and Johann Strauss.
The concert features opera singers Mạnh Dũng, Thanh Bình, Bùi Trang and the choir of VNOB under the baton of Japanese conductor Hiroshi Kutoba. Tickets are sold from VNĐ300,000 (US$13) to VNĐ600,000 at the opera house’s box office. — VNS