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Dream On Screen Sept. 12

Petrushka Popping Up

If you missed A Dancer’s Dream, our sold-out 2012–13 season finale, here’s some good news. As promised, it’s coming to movie theaters starting September 12.

The film — consisting of the complete concert broadcast, behind-the-scenes footage, and more goodies — opens in New York City on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. at City Cinemas 123 (tickets). Another local screening will be on Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas (tickets). Then the film travels to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other U.S. cities, and to Canada, the U.K., Russia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and more.

Blending music with dance, live animation, pre-recorded video, puppetry, and circus arts, A Dancer’s Dream blurs the lines between reality and imagination, audience and performer. The production turned Avery Fisher hall into a dream world through costumes, sets, staging, and live filmmaking, Giants Are Small’s signature technique in which a real-time feed of musicians, puppets, and miniatures is projected above the Orchestra.

An audio recording of A Dancer’s Dream, produced by the Philharmonic, is also currently available for purchase in major online music stores, including iTunes, and available for streaming on Spotify.

Visit dreamonscreen.com for more information, including a slideshow of the concert premiere and information on local screenings (details are still being worked out; we will post as soon as possible).

Movie Music Mash-Up

A Dancer's Dream

On this date in 1926, the film Don Juan, starring John Barrymore, was released, featuring the Philharmonic on the sound track — the first time in history that a symphony orchestra was heard on a movie.

Fast forward to today:

The Phil presents THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic, September 17–21, with Alec Baldwin as Artistic Advisor

Also in September, the Orchestra will act, juggle, and perform on movie screens worldwide for the screening of the Phil's hit season finale event, A Dancer's Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky.

As for Don Juan, Alan Gilbert will conduct R. Strauss's musical depiction of the rogue in November, with Glenn Dicterow on the concertmaster solos during his Philharmonic farewell season.

Birthday Case

Case Scaglione

Join us in wishing a very happy birthday to NY Phil Assistant Conductor Case Scaglione. He’s had a big year, stepping in to lead the first work on a program for a conductor who was stuck in traffic; taking the podium to lead music by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; and leading Young People’s Concerts and School Day Concerts. And that was just at the Philharmonic! He has spent his summer away from Avery Fisher Hall leading orchestras from Baltimore to Shanghai. Get to know the Texas native, and check out his upcoming schedule.

Photo: Chris Lee

PHOTOS: A Dancer's Premiere

Last night, Avery Fisher Hall was filled with jealous puppets, dancing violinists, the Swiss Alps, a magic baton, and one passionate ballerina. Check out the slideshow above to relive opening night of the Philharmonic's genre-bending season finale, A Dancer's Dream, running through Saturday. 

The sold-out performances will be broadcast to theaters nationwide and beyond beginning in September.

Photos by Chris Lee

The Price of Being an Artist

Ice Maiden Video Shoot

Opening tonight, A Dancer’s Dream is what director/designer Doug Fitch calls an “über Fairy Tale,” combining Stravinsky’s disparate ballets The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka to create a new narrative.

Here’s the story: a young woman, played by ballerina Sara Mearns, sits entranced at a Philharmonic concert. She is “kissed” by the passion to become an artist and drawn into the performance, dancing to the complete score of The Fairy’s Kiss. By the second act, she has completed her transformation into an artist, becoming Columbine in Petrushka. But becoming an artist has consequences. As Giants Are Small detailed in a production plan, “she loses her ability to have an ordinary life as the demons of ambition and love claim her as their plaything.”

The real Sara Mearns can relate. As she told The New York Times, "It's kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.”

Stravinsky meditated on this theme in The Fairy’s Kiss, which he dedicated to Tchaikovsky, an artist who paid this price (“Tchaikovsky’s personal life was a mess,” Mr. Fitch says in the Times). As Stravinsky inscribed in the score: “I dedicate this ballet to the memory of Pyotr Tchaikovsky by relating the Fairy to his Muse, and in this way the ballet becomes an allegory, the Muse having similarly branded Tchaikovsky with her fatal kiss, whose mysterious imprint made itself felt in all this great artist’s work.”

Petrushka, Three Ways

Bernstein Petrushka Score

This week’s performances of A Dancer’s Dream  will bring Stravinsky's Petrushka to the stage in a way that hasn't been seen before at the New York Philharmonic. And that's saying something, as over the years the Orchestra has presented more than 60 performances of the commedia dell’arte fantasy in various incarnations, including an arrangement for four pianos. Three such incarnations sit in the Digital Archives, all marked by Leonard Bernstein to different degrees of thoroughness. You can browse all three here.

Extra! Extra!

New York Times A Dancer's Dream

“It’s kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.” — Sara Mearns

Dance writer Gia Kourlas presents a peek behind the curtain of A Dancer's Dream in this past Sunday's New York Times. Sara Mearns, Doug Fitch, and Karole Armitage spoke with Gia about all-things Dream, including the narrative that will tie together Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss and Petrushka.

(Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

VIDEOS: The Unspoken Side of Show Business

A casting agent walks into a production studio. Hired on the spot, he's tasked with casting a critical role in A Dancer's Dream. Follow his adventures as he contends with Siri, networks with Sara Mearns, and pumps up the virality in Giants Are Small's five-part "documentary" series.

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