ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For Jessica Tretter, Rochester City Ballet’s production of “The Firebird” will be her last after a spectacular run with the company.

Performances of “The Firebird” are set for May 14 and 15 at the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua and May 20 and 21 at the Nazareth College Callahan Theatre.

Tretter and Artistic Director Robert Gardner discussed the performance and her featured role as the Firebird Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“This is a production near and dear to my heart,” said Gardner. “I created it for the Minnesota Ballet in 2014. I’m so excited that we were able to bring it to Rochester City Ballet and to have Jessica Tretter as the lead as our Firebird.”

Tretter is prepared to move on to new life opportunities but not before one final performance. “There’s a lot of different feelings going into the last but just that all good things eventually come to an end to lead to other good things,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make but something in my gut says it’s time and this is a great way to kind of go out with a bang.”

She described the Firebird as a strong and powerful character. “It’s nice to be able to go out with something so powerful that’s challenging but also makes you feel fulfilled in your soul. Delving into all of that, enjoying that process as much as I can, and looking on the bright side of things have been my focus. Instead of saying this is the last time for this, I’m saying this is going to be the best time for everything because I’ve done it so many times.”

Gardner reserved special praise for his prized dancer. “This is the third time that I have staged the ballet and I never have had a ballerina who embodied the role the way I envisioned it in the way that she does. As a choreographer you couldn’t ask for anything more than somebody to take your vision and fly with it – and that pun was intended!”

Tretter’s farewell performance will be on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. In addition to her lead role of the Firebird, Tretter will be featured in an additional solo choreographed by former Artistic Director Jamey Leverett. This special evening will honor Jessica’s 14-year career with Rochester City Ballet and her contributions to the performing arts in Rochester. 

See one of Rochester’s elite dancers perform “The Firebird.” Get your tickets and more information online at