Firebirds Enthuses Audiences with Hot Performances

Joshua Abbott performs

Jacksonville Centre of the Arts (JCA) recently presented a modern-day version of the Russian Ballet, “The Firebird” – with a twist.

The production was loosely based on a ballet written a century ago, but the May 31st show had a contemporary spin that included jazz, tap and even West African performances. Seven choreographers, who also serve as instructors at JCA, modernized it.

“We wanted to have a full-caliber ballet for years, but we never knew when our students would be technically ready to have a show that large within our school,” said Kezia Rolle, JCA Executive Director and Founder. “We researched numerous shows, but The Firebird was the perfect fit for our school considering the opening of our new building as well.“

Centre of the Arts students perform Firebird
Centre of the Arts students perform Firebird

The cast for the Firebird included more than 85 dancers from JCA’s pre-professional program, with lead roles danced by Octavia Glymph and Joshua Abbott (pictured). JCA is a pre-professional program that trains dancers for careers in the arts or advanced degrees in performing arts. Students train 15-25 hours per week in disciplines such as ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop and West African.

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