Symphony Orchestras Are Raising the Roof
Updated: May 15
An interesting way to experience symphonic music is when it is mixed with dance and art. I used to escort elder community members to the SF library to view opera videos accompanied by live symphonic music. Now, less than a decade later, we can view on YouTube a popular symphony concert at the Sydney Opera House (yes, performed live in Australia): Leopold Stravinsky's Firebird, along with the sound expressed in a kaleidoscope-like video.
Stravinsky's Firebird is also featured in Disney's Fantasia 2000. Helen Nguyen composed a Sound replacement project, at the Berkelee College of Music, based on Fantasia 2000: 2000 Fantasia The Firebird. Across the world, we can view and listen to, for free on YouTube, The Bolshoi Ballet Russe, which produced a dance film of Return Firebird, with the symphonic music playing in the background.
One of my favorite Firebird concerts is the Berliner Philharmonic playing the same symphony, plus interviews with the violiist, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and conductor, Kirill Petrenko. Also check out "The Firebird" Berliner Philharmonic film. conducted by Kirill Petrenko , accompanied by a live ballerina and a film of an artist's sketching the story. You might be able to watch it in a free trial subscription.
Maybe you aren't familiar with the composer, the symphony, or the multitudes of orchestras and ballet companies that have performed "The Firebird?" I wasn't either, until yesterday.
Following are stories about the Firebird origin:
Quarterly Bestiary: The Firebird: A Unique Gem or Just Another Phoenix?
Listening Guide to "Infernal Dance" from "Firebird" | Learn, Listen | Summer of SONG
Here are a few YouTube dance performances of Stravinsky's Firebird:
Here are other YouTube renditions of the Firebird story to share with children (or your inner child)):
Misty Copeland Reads "Firebird" Bookmarks Netflix Jr (based on the Firebird book that she wrote
Disney Little Einsteins "The Firebird" Read Aloud Storybook for kids
As an extension of Misty Copeland's Firebird book reading, children of any age can dance like the Firebird by stretching with Misty's YouTube video:
Do an Internet search for "Firebird Costume," wave your arms (or fingers) like a bird and soar!
It's never too late to experience symphonic music, especialy when it is a multi-media production, mixed with storytelling, interviews, film, dance, art, and theater.