April 3, 2020

The Princess and The Pea & The Firebird

The Princess and The Pea & The Firebird

Date(s) - Friday, April 3, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Academy of Music Theatre

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For our spring 2020 production, we bring you the debut of our new original ballet, “The Princess and the Pea,” alongside Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”

If you thought you knew the story of “The Princess and the Pea,” you’ll be in for a fantastic surprise. This comedic spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some hilarious mischief and hijinks. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.

This new ballet by PVB Co-Directors Tom Vacanti and Maryanne Kodzis tells the tale of an overbearing queen, a powerless king, a less-than- gallant prince, and an ungainly, brash princess with the strength and the bold personality of a thousand knights. The queen is a royal bully who professes to want to find a princess to marry her son, yet repeatedly devises “tests” the candidates can’t possibly pass, declaring he must marry a “true” princess. The queen is horrified when the princess arrives, the prince is smitten, and the rest of the court crosses its fingers that this princess will finally pass the test.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Princess and the Pea,” Pioneer Valley Ballet’s production is less like a traditional fairy tale ballet and more like comic send-up of the “Disney Princess” culture. It is a modern fairy tale that contains a message of female empowerment: this decidedly unfeminine princess can still be a “true” princess, and win the love of a prince, without having to change.

And “The Firebird” returns:

“The Firebird” is Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking composition, based on a compilation of Russian folktales, about a prince, a magical bird, a beautiful princess, and forces of good and evil. The ballet was first performed in Paris in 1910 and instantly became Stravinsky’s breakthrough work. It has been restaged by many esteemed choreographers and companies, including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, and the Royal Ballet. The Firebird was first introduced into PVB’s repertory in 2011 and is one of PVB Co-Director Tom Vacanti’s personal favorites to choreograph and direct.

These two one-act ballets will showcase trained dancers from PVB as well as professional guest artists from around the region.