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|Scenery||Marc Chagall (1945)|
|Costumes||Marc Chagall executed by Karinska|
|Premiere||November 27, 1970, New York State Theater, New York City Ballet|
|Casting Reqs||Firebird: principal woman; Prince Ivan: principal man; Prince′s Bride: principal woman; Maidens: 12 women; Youths: 12 men; Kastchei the Wizard & his subjects: 3 men, 5 women|
|Notes||The New York City Ballet presented its first production of ″Firebird″ in 1949 at the City Center Theater with scenery and costumes the eminent painter Marc Chagall had created following the original designs for Bolm′s choreography from 1945. In 1970 a new production was mounted to adapt to the larger proportions of the New York State Theater. The costumes, of extraordinary complexity and fantasy, were created by Madame Karinska from Chagall′s original designs. Chagall expressed his great pleasure at the devotion and inventiveness with which Madame Karinska interpreted his watercolor sketches in textiles, plastics, paint, and mineral materials. The choreography represents a collaboration between George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, the latter being responsible for the episode with Kastchei the Wizard and his subjects. Balanchine entirely redesigned his dances in light of Marc Chagall′s designs. This ballet was conceived as Chagall accompanied by music and dance.
Prince Ivan, the hunter, wanders into a magic wood and captures the Firebird. On her pleading, he frees her and she rewards him with a magic plume. Kastchei, the wizard, has enchanted the princess and her maidens but, with the aid of the Firebird′s feather, Prince Ivan rescues the maidens and marries the Princess amid great rejoicing.