New South African THE FIREBIRD to play Artscape and National Arts Festival Before International Tour

THE FIREBIRD features puppet design by Janni
Younge, with Jonah Delange and Andy Jones,
assisted by Peter Collard.

THE FIREBIRD, presented by Janni Younge Productions, IMG Artist International and the production's commissioning partners, will perform at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town and the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown before an international tour to venues including the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Directed by Janni Younge, the former director of Handspring Puppet Company, the show is a contemporary puppet and dance performance set to Igor Stravinsky's dramatic original score.

This extraordinary production, two years in the making, features giant puppets designed by a team of artists who worked in the WAR HORSE puppet studio. THE FIREBIRD's strength lies in the combination of music, dance and puppetry to bring to the stage a battle between forces that is both epic and highly personal. Evoking themes of fear and passion, inspiration and destruction, THE FIREBIRD resonates strongly with South African society and with the task each one of us faces to find and embrace our power.

Dancers and performers in this production include Jackie Manyapelo, Craig Leo, Shaun Oelf, Beren Belknap and Zandile Constable. Costume design is by Birrie le Roux, with lighting design by Mannie Manim and choreography by Jay Pather.

THE FIREBIRD runs at Artscape for four performances only, on 24 June at 20:00, 25 June at 14:30 and 20:00 and 26 June at 14:30. Tickets cost from R180 to R200 with special offers available for families, senior citizens, scholars, students and members of Assitej, PANSA, VANSA and UNIMA SA. Bookings for these performances are through Computicket and Artscape (021 421 7695).

Performances of THE FIREBIRD at the National Arts Festival will take place on 30 June at 20:00 and 1 July at 15:00 and 20:00 at the Guy Butler Theatre, with tickets costing R75 - R110. Bookings for these performances are through the National Arts Festival website.

The Hollywood Bowl performance takes place in Los Angeles on 4 August, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will accompany the production in a programme including Claude Debussy's LA MER and Benjamin Britten's FOUR SEA INTERLUDES as well as the performance of THE FIREBIRD. Tickets, which range in price from $1 - $149, are available from Ticketmaster.

The production is not recommended for children under the age of 6 years.

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