And the Winner Is…

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan, Heather Redfern of The Cultch & Turning Point Ensemble's Owen Underhill

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan, Heather Redfern of The Cultch & Turning Point Ensemble's Owen Underhill

The Cultch is excited to announce that the winner of the 2011 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Music/Opera is FIREBIRD 2011 by Turning Point Ensemble!

With Turning Point Ensemble’s mission of linking the present to great works of the past, FIREBIRD 2011 will consist of two exciting parts: a performance of a new arrangement by Michael Bushnell of Stravinsky’s Firebird, originally composed in 1910 for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes; and an entirely new Firebird featuring dancers from MOVE: THE COMPANY choreographed by Simone Orlando, and new music by Vancouver composer Jocelyn MorlockFIREBIRD 2011 will be under the artistic direction of Owen Underhill, who is the co-artistic director of the ensemble.

The ensemble believes Firebird’s magic is in its sheer physicality of the magical characters (the Firebird seems to transform balletic norms and gender stereotyping) and the sense of spectacle as inspired by the collision of the natural and supernatural world.  The Firebird therefore has a flexibility that lends itself to rethinking of its basic themes into a contemporary world.

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan presenting the $60,000 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Music, 2011

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan presenting the $60,000 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Music

In Firebird 2011, the central characters are re-imagined as modern archetypes in a present-day urban context. Themes of entrapment, the Other, paradoxes around freedom and liberation, the exotic or otherworldly, and transformative experience in the real world will be explored. Simone Orlando will be incorporating six dancers from MOVE to represent the main protagonist (previously the prince), the reinvented Kastchei, the Firebird, and three contemporary captives (previously the maidens).

With Turning Pointe Ensemble’s strong history of successful and insightful work, The Cultch is certain that Firebird 2011 will be a moving harmony of the past and present.

Look for Firebird 2011 in the spring of 2011 at The Cultch.

Owen Underhill of Turning Point Ensemble Accepting the Rio Tinto Alcan Award, Music 2011

Owen Underhill of Turning Point Ensemble Accepting the Rio Tinto Alcan Award, Music 2011

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