When I first heard about Spring Awakening, I thought of benign, sunny meadows full of blossoming flowers with some schoolchildren skipping through. Little did I know that the play is about schoolchildren’s sexual blossoming rather than their cavorting in a blooming field of flowers. I might have been far off, but the surprise made seeing the Risley Theatre production of Spring Awakening even more enjoyable. The rock musical is based on a book by Steven Sater, who also wrote the lyrics to accompany the play’s music. Set in Germany in 1891, Spring Awakening’s story is that of a group of teenagers in the midst of puberty.
On Saturday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Ithaca Ballet presented the spring installment of their 2015-2016 performance series at The State Theatre. The show began with The Firebird and after intermission were two shorter pieces titled “Boyceball” and “Bolero.” The combination of a longer, story ballet and contemporary choreography made for a versatile production with something for everyone. The Firebird is a ballet remarkable for its music, composed by the legendary Igor Stravinsky. The score is mystical, dramatic at the right times, and often erratic — fitting, as the ballet is about a magical bird. The plot of the ballet is tweaked depending on which company is performing it, but Ithaca Ballet’s version stays true to original versions, for the most part.