In my previous post I discussed the books M, J and I have been reading about various incarnations of the Firebird, as a way in to listening (and dancing) to Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird. In between and after readings we enjoyed several clips of the ballet or the music on YouTube including these:
Firebird: Nina Ananiashvili
Prince Ivan: Andris Liepa
Princess: Ekaterina Liepa
Kashchey: Sergey Petukhov
Ballet masters: Alexander Prokofiev, Nikolay Androsov
Margot Fonteyn as the firebird
The Firebird suite on Fantasia 2000
As I’ve said previously, having some visuals to watch has helped enormously with enabling M and J to sit and listen to the music.
Sitting still, though, isn’t really in the nature of my girls. What they were born to do is wriggle, jump, fly, swirl and move around as much as possible, all over the place and especially if there is music on. So the next thing we did was create some firebird costumes together in order that they could pretend to be Margot Fonteyn.
Using the same technique as for our Halibut Jackson outfits, we first made our skirts. What I like about this technique is that it involves no sewing and so M could really play a part in making her own costume. We used net in various different fiery colours, and the only thing I’d do differently if this costume was going to be worn for a long time is create a little petticoat to go underneath as both the girls found the net quite scratchy after a while.
I made wings for the girls out of a length of gauzy material (a little longer than from finger tip to finger tip in each case). I folded the material in half and tied a long length of ribbon round it. This scrunched the material together, and then the remaining length of ribbon was used to tie over the girls shoulders and around their chests. At each end of the gauze I attached an elastic band which the girls slipped over their wrists. For a proper tutorial take a look at this one from This Mama Makes Stuff.
Lots of leaping and rolling around then ensued…
I’ve not yet taken either of the girls to see a ballet live. Have you taken your kids to see any dance? What age were they and did you do anything in particular to prepare them for the performance?