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Future Wave

A Dancer's Dream

"And it was delightful to see the skilled members of the Philharmonic so eagerly embracing the chance to act, stomp and ham it up. At one point in ‘Petrushka,’ the violist Rebecca Young did a little Russian dance, juggling colored handkerchiefs and twirling about exuberantly. Is this the future of the American orchestra? Let’s hope so."

— The New York Times reviews the New York Philharmonic’s production of A Dancer's Dream.

Photo by 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

A Bubbly Birthday

Magnus Lindberg Kraft

A very happy 55th birthday to our former Composer-in-Residence, Magnus Lindberg! He remains a friend of the Phil, as evidenced by his participation as a soloist in his own work, Kraft, during our EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The performance, at Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Germany, is available for streaming at medici.tv. Or celebrate with Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic’s recent release on Dacapo, featuring three works composed during Magnus’s tenure as Composer-in-Residence: Expo, Piano Concerto No. 2, and Al Largo.

PHOTOS: At Today's Dress Rehearsal

We're about an hour away from the first performance of A Dancer's Dream! To get your toes tapping, here's a sneak peek from today's dress rehearsal.

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.

Who's on First?

Mr. Met

Alan Gilbert on the mound … Behind him, the New York Philharmonic … Skipper Joe Torre looks on from the dugout … Mariah Carey steps into the batter’s box … Home run! Everyone wins when this stellar lineup assembles for the 2013 MLB All-Star Charity Concert — especially Superstorm Sandy Relief, the event’s beneficiary. The concert — on Central Park’s Great Lawn on Saturday, July 13, three days before the All-Star Game at Citi Field — is free, but tickets are required. Visit AllStarGame.com/Concert for general-admission seating beginning this Wednesday, June 26.

If you can’t wait, you can get V.I.P. tix today by showing some love for the Phil. New donors giving $500 or more to the New York Philharmonic can receive two (or more) seats in a special section close to the stage. Tickets are limited so step up to the plate now! Check out the details here.

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