American Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, celebrating his 20th year with the company as both a dancer and artistic director, brought Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of Firebird to Segerstrom Center for the Arts for its world premiere March 29 – April 1. The engagement, which was part of the Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Season, also included the West Coast premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions and Center premiere of Merce Cunningham’s Duets. In the past, the New York Post said, “One of the most beautiful sights in dance is American Ballet Theatre in full flight.” Indeed, according to the OC Register, this Firebird “soars.”
ABT Cast Party - Jewel Court
The opening night cast of Firebird starred Natalia Osipova, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg and Simone Messmer. Subsequent casts included Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston in the title role.
Immediately following the premiere and standing ovation, Center and ABT VIPs, underwriters and dancers made their ways to South Coast Plaza. Quattro Café catered and provided a special Firebird Martini for toasts – arranged and hosted by Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom and South Coast Plaza in its Jewel Court. It was an evening to celebrate, congratulate and continue dancing.
On hand were Center President Terrence W. Dwyer, Center Executive Vice President Judy Morr, ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, ABT Executive Director Rachel Moore and ABT Artist-in-Residence Ratmansky. Among the generous Center donors who helped to make the engagement possible were Lead Sponsors Terry and George Schreyer as well as Mary and Richard Kramer. Guests also included Center dance fans Tracey Martin and Roger Kirwan, Susan and Tim Strader, Christina Lyon, Tricia Berns, Chairman of The Guilds of Segerstrom Center Carol Pitturo-Kentner, Guilds Spring Celebration Chair Kathy Fleming and husband Cliff, Gloria Brandeis, Terry Goldfarb-Lee and others.