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NYCB Vol. 6 No. 10 - Firebird

Balanchine on Gelsey in his 1970 revival of Firebird: “She’s still a baby, just coming out of the awkward stage. But I didn’t want a woman. I didn’t want a personality or a passionate performance. I wanted a bird, one of God’s natural creatures. I wanted a storm that even when it’s raging is unemotional. I didn’t want people. I wanted Chagall.” —Newsweek, June 8, 1970.

(left & center) Gelsey Kirkland as the Firebird. Photo by Farrell Grehan for LIFE Magazine, 1970.

(right) Gelsey and Johnna Kirkland backstage (18 & 20 years old respectively). Gelsey preparing for Firebird, and Johnna preparing to appear in a pas de deux in John Clifford's "Sarabande and Danse"

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