The Mann Center for the Performing Arts presented a multidisciplinary interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's orchestral score for the 1910 ballet The Firebird that linked South African and Russian traditions and integrate music, literature, and the disciplines of dance, movement, and puppetry. Creating a distinctly contemporary African reinterpretation of the Russian symphonic work, the Mann curated a unique program, featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra, Grammy Award-winning South African vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and larger-than-life puppets by Janni Younge of South Africa's renowned Handspring Puppet Company. Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed a repertoire that showcased their South African musical traditions along with two Russian folk songs quoted in The Firebird, which were arranged in the harmonic sounds and rhythms of South Africa and sung in English and Zulu. The Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of the complete score for The Firebird were accompanied by a reinterpretation of the original Ballets Russes staging with Younge's puppets, performed by expert puppeteers and dancers.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*