Dutch National Ballet presents

Stravinsky Fairy Tales Alexei Ratmansky


Firebird & The Fairy’s Kiss

Duration 2:00

Stravinsky Year - European premiere of The Fairy’s Kiss

The most important contemporary classical ballet choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, made two brilliant ballet fairy tales to music by Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss and Firebird. Rousing group scenes, brilliant pointe variations and majestic music drag you right through drama and suffering to the 'happy end'.

Foto: Angela Sterling
Foto: Angela Sterling
Foto: Angela Sterling

Inspiring fairy tales

The Fairy’s Kiss

Igor Stravinsky was inspired for 'Le baiser de la fée' (The Fairy's Kiss) by Andersen's 'The Snow Queen', which happens to be the basis for Disney's Frozen:

A boy is saved during a blizzard by the kiss of a fairy. He grows up to be a handsome young man, but on the night before his wedding the fairy returns to claim him and she seals his fate with an icy kiss.

The Fairy’s Kiss: coproduction with Norwegian National Ballet 


For 'L'Oiseau de feu' (Firebird) the legend of the Firebird was his source of inspiration:

The czar's son Ivan catches a firebird in a magical garden and, after the bird manages to break loose, she gives him a feather that will save him in distress.

Firebird: coproduction with American Ballet Theatre


    Thu 30 Jan The Observer over Ratmansky

    ‘Alexei Ratmansky is generally considered today’s most talented classical choreographer (…) His new work is everywhere – Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam, Miami, as well as New York’

    Fri 24 Jan Financial Times - Fairytales(*****)

    'A Firebird full of things to love'

Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky

The Russian-American choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, whose The Fairy's Kiss will receive its European premiere, is a master in re-interpreting well-known ballets, folk stories and fairy tales. In his hands The Fairy’s Kiss — with stunning decors by Jérôme Kaplan — becomes a moving story about a choreographer who cannot escape his fate. His Firebird is sizzlingly fervent, with the bird symbolizing a natural force from which there’s no escape.

Stravinsky Year

2021 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stravinsky’s death. His contribution to dance was invaluable, thanks to the masterpieces he composed for Diaghilev’s renowned Les Ballets Russes and, later, for his artistic soulmate George Balanchine. Dutch National Ballet honours the composer this season with a Stravinsky Year consisting of three programmes: Stravinsky’s Fairy Tales, Oedipus Rex / From ‘Antigone’ and Stravinsky’s Masterpieces.


Alexei Ratmansky


Alexei Ratmansky trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. He danced with the Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. June 2017, he brought an intense personal tribute with Dutch National Ballet to Dmitri Shostakovich in his 'Shostakovich Trilogy'.

The Fairy’s Kiss – European premiere

Alexei Ratmansky
Igor Stravinsky

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
led by Koen Kessels

Since its foundation in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud orchestral partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. This way of working is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as its principal conductor, consists of a permanent core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest players. This gives the orchestra a unique character: flexible, dynamic and of high quality. Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance to provide an enchanting experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, from music education to talent development. An optimal synthesis between music and dance is the orchestra’s mission. The orchestra masters a rich repertoire, which includes the crown jewels of ballet history such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. This repertoire is always complemented by the best works of contemporary composers, selected by the leading choreographers of today. The orchestra reaches dance lovers and enthusiasts of ballet music as well as children and adolescents. The educational projects of the orchestra have won several (international) awards, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaboration with dance company ISH.


Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.

Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance