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The real deal introductory notes
Introduction to Petrushka
Behind the scenes: Petrushka
Introduction to Le Baiser de la fée
The Fairy's Kiss
News archive: Initial stages
News archive: Michael Corder visit
Introduction to Card Game
The history of Card Game
News archive: David Bintley praises increased fitness standards
Stravinsky and Diaghilev

What's on

Birmingham Hippodrome
3 - 5 July 2008

The Lowry
8 - 12 July 2008

Click here for a full diary of performances and links for how to book.

Full performance diary

Click here for performance listings.

Stravinsky: the real deal

Introductory notes to all three ballets being performed as part of Stravinsky: the real deal.


Petrushka is one of Stravinsky's most narrative scores, where the music links directly to the plot.

It tells the story of a puppet called Petrushka (pictured left) who is in love with a puppet of a ballerina (pictured above right). She however is in love with another, and the resulting love triangle is played out as part of a show presented to a disbelieving crowd of carnival attenders.

Stravinsky's score became one of his most frequently played orchestral works, and was one of the first pieces he conducted for gramophone records in 1928.

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Mikhail Fokine
Designs Alexander Benois

Le Baiser de la fée:

The music for the piece has been used by a number of differenty choreographers, all trying to tell their own versions of the story of Le Baiser de la fée, or 'The Fairy's Kiss'. None however have managed to created a definitive version.

Michael Corder's [pictured] newest reworking of the story makes it's world debut for these performances.

New set and costume designs have been created by John MacFarlane, who also designed Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Michael Corder
Designs John Macfarlane

Card Game:

This ballet sees the dancers playing the parts of cards in a game of poker. At the centre of the piece is the boisterous and athletic Joker (pictured left), who can transform himself into any card he chooses, potentially creating a winning hand.

Card Game was the very first collaboration by Igor Stravinsky and choreographer George Balanchine. Balanchine invited the composer to write whatever he liked, and Stravinsky hit upon the idea of the game of poker.

The resulting ballet was not popular however. This led to other choreographers creating their own pieces to the music, including this lively and more successful version by John Cranko.

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choregraphy John Cranko
Libretto adapted by John Cranko
Designs Dorothee Zippel

See the related stories to the right of the page for more information.
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