Ballet is delicate and refined, a sophisticated art that stems from the intellect, yes? No, ballet is a monster that wrings out the body and pushes the limits of human endurance. In Stravinsky's The Firebird
, ballet is both refined and wild. The lead ballerina must incorporate both grace and savageness to properly portray the mythical phoenix; it's a creature of exotic beauty and terrible power, and the dancer must be both, as the piece demands. Alexandra Ballet brings this primal beauty to the stage of the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.alexandraballet.com
) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 17 and 18), with choreography by Marek Cholewa. The one-act The Firebird
is accompanied by August Bournonville's Napoli
, Sergey Kozadayev's Moldavian Suite
and Alan Hineline's De L'Innocense
. It's a program that clearly demonstrates the many facets of ballet: Bournonville's classical delicateness, Kozadayev's use of ethnic dance styles and the contemporary style of Hineline all serve to complement the stark power of The Firebird
. Tickets for this rich evening cost $25 to $40.