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Read the fairy-tale story of the Firebird
Children's activity sheet
Click here for a printable colouring and puzzle sheet featuring the Firebird herself
See what the critics thought The Firebird.
The history of The Firebird
Read more about the creation of the ballet
Your first destination for information on one of Stravinsky's most popular ballets
Le Baiser de la fée
Find out about this ballet, and the other versions that have preceded it.
Read the biography of the choreographer
The Fairy's Kiss
Michael Corder discusses his new piece
Introduction to Petrushka
Find out about the creation of the ballet, and one of the few narrative scores in Stravinsky's career
Behind-the-scenes: the shoe supervisor
A behind-the-scenes interview with Michael Clifford, Birmingham Royal Ballet's shoemaster, where he explains why Petrushka demands more work than Sleeping Beauty.
The Acrobat and the Ringmaster
Read about the prolific partnership of Stravinsky and Diaghilev
In the enchanted garden of the Immortal Kostche´ the Firebird appears, pursued by Ivan Tsarevich. The Firebird tries to pluck golden apples from the magic tree. But, Ivan seizes her and will not release her until she gives him one of her feathers as a pledge of help should he ever need it. She flies off.
The darkness dissolves and Ivan finds himself at the gate of an old castle. 12 maidens come out, led by a beautiful Tsarevna, who tells him that this is the castle of the Immortal Kostche´, a magician who waylays passing travellers by casting spells on them. After exchanging tender glances with Ivan, the Tsarevna leads her companions in a lively dance. She and Ivan kiss. But it is now dawn and the maidens must return to the castle.
In spite of the Tsarevna's warning, Ivan decides to follow them. As soon as he opens the gates, bells ring out and a crowd of weird figures rush from the castle, followed by KostcheÚ, before whom they prostrate themselves.
KostcheÚ advances on Ivan and tries to turn him to stone. But Ivan waves the Firebird's feather in his face, invoking her aid. She reappears and forces the crowd to dance until they fall exhausted to the ground. While they are all asleep, Ivan, on her instruction, steals a great egg that contains Kostche´'s soul. He throws it to the ground. Kostche´ dies and his spell is broken. The captives are restored to human form.
The Tsarevna and Ivan are married and everyone joins in a thanksgiving.
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