Alastair Macaulay, New York Times
Apollinaire Scherr, Financial Times
"The genius of Alexei Ratmansky – American Ballet Theatre’s artist in residence, former Bolshoi director – is to turn the lack of dramatic imperative to his advantage. The pathos and delight of his Firebird lies in the fact that this Ivan and Maiden are not destined to fall in love; they decide to.... In a Firebird full of things to love, this refusal to take the steps for granted may be the most endearing of all.
Apollinaire Scherr,artsjournal.com : Isabella Boylston as Firebird, Alexandre Hammoudi as Ivan, Kristi Boone as Maiden, Cory Stearns as Kaschei; and Natalia Osipova for, alas, an injured Misty Copeland as Firebird, Herman Cornejo as Ivan, Maria Riccetto as Maiden, Roman Zhurbin as Kaschei.
Mary Cargill, danceviewtimes.com:
Joan Acocella, The New Yorker
"Ratmansky’s choreography is so much like him—detailed, complicated, nuanced, witty—that a blind man would have known that this was him. The erotic charge of Ivan’s duet with the Firebird is surprising."
Leigh Witchel, New York Post
Marina Harss, dancetabs.com:
Deborah Jowitt, artsjournal.com
"Despite issues to do with narrative coherence and theatrical timing, this Firebird is handsome to look at and full of arresting images and clever conceits...The Apollo at the performance I saw was Maxim Beloserkovsky. A dancer who doesn’t often get the attention he deserves, he received enthusiastic applause on June 13...The program opened with Christopher Wheeldon’s wonderful 2011 Thirteen Diversions, set to Benjamin Britten’s “Diversions for Piano (left hand) and Orchestra,” Op. 21—a stunning work. I admire everything about the ballet."
Tobi Tobias, artsjournal.com
"I can’t imagine what Alexei Ratmansky was thinking of in creating his New Look Firebird. ..it‘s dressed for Las Vegas by Galina Solovyeva, with complementary décor (including a sci-fi forest with hints of porn) by Simon Pastukh. It wrests the fairy-tale narrative that Michel Fokine created for his 1910 L’Oiseau de Feu (in which good, abetted by generosity, duly conquers evil and is rewarded with love) into a tale that is sardonic at best, sleazy at worst...there’s almost no distinctive dancing in the piece but this, given the circumstances Ratmansky set up or succumbed to, was inevitable.
Susan Yung, ephemeralist.com
"Misty Copeland in the title role with Herman Cornejo as Ivan. ..both dancers possess an internal complexity and the pyrotechnique to add some welcome sparks. But surprisingly, or maybe not, the choreography for these lead roles hewed to a romantic, heroic, conventional route. A bit of a shame as it is another major role for Copeland, whose star is on the rise."
Apollinaire Scherr, artsjournal.com:
Robert Gottlieb, New York Observer
Robert Greskovic, Wall Street Journal
"Wonderfully aided by strikingly vivid scenic designs by Simon Pastukh and costumes by Galina Solovyeva, all further enhanced by Wendall Harrington's projections, ABT's 2012 "Firebird" is closer to a Tim Burton movie than to a Ballets Russes panoramic pageant....Unforgiving traditionalists will no doubt be left reeling by Mr. Ratmansky's bold changes; newcomers, with no such preconceptions, just might take this "Firebird" for what it is: a freshly told fantastical tale."