'Firebird' dance to heat up IceFest this weekend

February 03, 2006|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Skeleton women, evil hounds, princes and a princess trapped in a block of ice will dance on the Capitol Theatre's stage Saturday during Chambersburg's annual Ice Fest.

The Chambersburg Ballet Theatre will perform "The Firebird," a ballet with music by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. The 45-minute ballet includes "a beautiful wedding scene with a glorious back drop of a crystal palace and a rainbow coming through golden clouds," said Lavinia Reid, artistic director and founder of the ballet company. "It's pretty spectacular."

The well-known ballet is made even more enchanting by the use of 1,000 watts of black light, which was Reid's idea.


"It's never been done in black light before," she said. "I think it's a real breakthrough in terms of theatrical presentation of this ballet," adding that the lighting makes the hoards of evil monsters even more impressive.

Costumes and scenery are painted in glowing colors to make them show up in the varying degrees of black light used.

The starring role of "The Firebird" will be danced by Brie Anne Asbury of the Miami City Ballet School. Peter Doll of the same company will dance as Prince Ivan. "They are reprising the roles they performed here before they graduated last June," Reid said. "This is a difficult ballet; that's the only way we could get it ready in time."

Jef Savage of Mercersburg, Pa., portrays the Immortal Kastchei.

The cast of 16 ranges in age from 12 to 56, Reid said.

Reid designed the costumes, which were hand-painted by Alan Bell and Jaqui Tichenor of Arche Dream, a professional black light dance company in Philadelphia.

Saturday's program will open with a Strauss Waltz winter scene danced by younger members of the ballet troupe.

"We'll have snow falling, and a moonlight scene," Reid said.

"I'm planning other black-light ballets in the future," Reid said. "It's a medium I want to focus on. This has been such a wonderful experience." The company plans to present "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in June.

To Go:

What: A black-light action ballet, "The Firebird," with music by Igor Stravinsky, performed by the Chambersburg Ballet Theatre.

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. A talk will be held 30 minutes before each show.

Where: The Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St., Chambersburg, PA. Tickets are $10, adults and seniors; $5, ages 12 and younger and are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office; call 717-263-0202. Seating is reserved. For information about the ballet, call 717-709-1800.

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