19 June 2013
Deciphering the Dream
"Tonight, our story unfolds as a kind of über Fairy Tale, connecting two great ballets by Stravinsky," explains Doug Fitch, director/designer of the Philharmonic’s production of A Dancer’s Dream. He writes in a note for the program: “The thread that weaves them all together takes the form of a young woman who slips into the world of her own imagination and is swept away by muses to become a ballerina.
“The Fairy’s Kiss is based on a haunting story by Hans Christian Andersen (The Ice Maiden) and was composed by Stravinsky as an homage to Tchaikovsky. Stravinsky saw the ‘kiss’ as a metaphor for the artistic gift — that mysterious, intangible phenomenon that can bestow immortality, but not without extracting its human price. We have merged these into a kind of daydream — a reverie induced by the seductive and transformative power of great music…. She then enters into the world of the Shrovetide Fair-setting of Petrushka and becomes the puppet ballerina character Columbine. Things in this daydream seem to have real consequences and it is hard to distinguish the artifice from the reality it is designed to imitate.
"After its premiere, Stravinsky said that dance is not applied arts — it is a union of arts; they strengthen and complement each other. It is in this spirit of developing a union between artistic media — some old, some new — that we have pursued this project…. We invite you to enter this world with us — to put together the pieces in your own mind and to weave your own stories as you watch and listen. You are very much a part of this collaboration."
(Photo of A Dancer’s Dream rehearsal courtesy of Giants Are Small)