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Pull up a seat and get to know the lovely Sophia Bovet who is starring as The Princess in this upcoming weekend’s Firebird the Ballet at Irvine Barclay Theatre presented by Festival Ballet Theatre (FBT).

Sophia is a FBT trainee which means she is required to take ballet technique and pointe classes 6 days a week, as well as rehearsals to attend. Ms. Salwa (Rizkalla) also likes for the ballerinas to volunteer their time and do outreach events in the community allowing others to learn the art of dance and share in the fun.

Compared to Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker ballets that Sophia has previously been involved in, Firebird is a much shorter (one-act) ballet. But the role of the Princess is dramatic and expressive with both slow and fast paced music. It is a role that challenges Sophia to improve her partnering skills and stamina.

Salwa Rizkalla

As the Artistic Director of FBT, Salwa Rizkalla has contributed to the Orange County community for more than 30 years by presenting excellence in dance performance through Festival Ballet Theatre and providing top-tier classical ballet training at Southland Ballet Academy. In Sophia’s own words,

“Working with Ms. Salwa has changed my life. Ms. Salwa is tough but loving. I love working with her. She requires her students to work hard but it pays off in so many ways.”

Choreographer Nikolai Kabaniaev

Kabaniaev choreographed Firebird in 2010 for FBT but still is hands on with this 2019 production 9 years later. He has personally helped Sophia learn how to portray the role of the Princess. It’s a demanding role for Sophia since she’s never played a role quite like it. Being trained personally by the choreographer is a real treat and benefit of being part of FBT where they meet and are taught by incredible people in the world of dance.

Trivia about Sophia:

Sophia Bovet Professional Photograph

  • She loves to watch UFC events in her spare time!
  • Sophia’s family has moved across the country to support her dance education.
  • Took her first ballet class at age 5.
  • Free time as a dancer consists of academics and recovering from long hours of ballet.
  • Student at Southland Ballet Academy (“the best ballet school” in Sophia’s words)
  • Sophia will be dancing the part of Clara in FBT’s upcoming Nutcracker this winter.


Photo by Marcie Taylor Media

A spellbinding story of heroism and romance! Based on a Russian folk tale, The Firebird is a captivating tale of a magical glowing bird and a prince who enters an enchanted world. Follow Prince Ivan and the Firebird as they join forces to break the evil spell of Kashchei, the wicked magician. Originally choreographed by Michel Fokine in 1910, this beguiling one-act ballet is set to the music of Igor Stravinsky. This production of The Firebird was choreographed for Festival Ballet Theatre by esteemed choreographer Nikolai Kabaniaev in 2010.

The performance will include excerpts from the famous Ballet Russes repertoire.

Dates: 12-13 October 2019

Location: Irvine Barclay Theatre,  4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612


Firebird – Moorea Pike
Princess – Sophia Bovet
Prince Ivan – Vitor Luiz
Kashchie (wicked magician) – Greyson Hanson


The Joyous Living presents an interview with Festival Ballet Theatre's Sophia Bovet who stars as Princess in their FIREBIRD ballet

Be sure to catch Sophia on Instagram.