Grand Rapids Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’ premieres tonight
at Peter Martin Wege Theatre
By Adrienne Warber
Grand Rapids Ballet’s “Swan Lake” opens tonight. The company’s highly successful and critically acclaimed new version of “The Nutcracker” ushered in the 2014-15 Season. Now Grand Rapids Ballet presents one of the world’s most popular classic ballets. “Swan Lake” has it all – a passionate love story, star-crossed lovers, a steamy love triangle, magical creatures and an evil sorcerer, all set in the lush Renaissance era. Grand Rapids Ballet’s traditional production of “Swan Lake” features Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous musical score with staging by Artistic Director Patricia Barker in collaboration with Creative Director Michael Auer and Junior Company Artistic Director Attila Mosolygo, based on the original concepts of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. “Swan Lake” premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m., and will run for two weekends (Feb. 6-8 and Feb. 13-15) at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre.
‘Swan Lake’ Is Classical Ballet
“Swan Lake” is one of the most famous ballets in the world for many reasons. Audiences love the story, the costumes, and the beauty of the performance. “Swan Lake” features some of the most beautiful and challenging classical ballet choreography. Dancers study “Swan Lake” for the technique, and it takes years of professional dance expertise to perform some of the choreography in lead roles. The ballet sets some of the standards of classical ballet technique and performance.
“Swan Lake is one of the most iconic of all ballets. Petipa and Ivanov took the idea of the essence of a female dancer, the dream of what a woman ballerina could be, in the creation of “Swan Lake.” One dancer portrays the roles of Odette/Odile. The role is challenging and requires a lot of athleticism and artistry. For example, Odile performs 32 fouettes, which takes incredible skill, technique, strength and control.,” says Grand Rapids Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker.
Grand Rapids Ballet last performed “Swan Lake” in 2006. This 2015 production of “Swan Lake” will feature the artistic perspective of the collaboration between Artistic Director Patricia Barker, her husband, Creative Director Michael Auer and Junior Company Artistic Director Attila Mosolygo based on their years of “Swan Lake” dance and choreography experience. Barker has danced the lead role of Odette/Odile in the past. Auer and Mosolygo have also danced leading roles in “Swan Lake” over the years. They understand all aspects of the creative process, and how to approach “Swan Lake” for dance performance as well as staging.
A Romantic Ballet that Celebrates Love and Dance
“Swan Lake” is a love story that is just as relevant to today’s audience as it was when it was first performed in 1895. Modern audiences can relate to lovers who must overcome a major obstacle to their true love, a lusty love triangle, and an evil villain who uses magic to keep the lovers a part. The show contains some of the most romantic and passionate grand pas de deux numbers in ballet – the white swan pas de deux where Odette and Siegfried express their love for each other, and the black swan pas de deux where Odile tries to seduce Siegfried. Anyone who enjoys romance and dance should enjoy this ballet. This ballet is a good date night activity. In fact, there are two shows on Valentine’s Day.
Barker shares her hopes for audience response, “I hope that the audience will cherish the story. I hope that the ballet brings them some joy, and that they will fall in love with dance, and come back to see us again.”
Grand Rapids Ballet Shows and Ticket Information
Grand Rapids Ballet will present seven performances of “Swan Lake” on the weekends of Feb. 6-8 and Feb. 13-15 at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre. All seven “Swan Lake” shows have sold out.
“Swan Lake” tickets may be sold out, but tickets are on sale now for Grand Rapids Ballet’s contemporary choreography show, “Movemedia I.” Grand Rapids Ballet’s unique contemporary dance series features the work of selected choreographers from all over the world. The dance series is divided into two programs, which run in March and April, and feature a different set of choreographers. Tickets are on sale for three shows held on the weekend of March 13-15. Ticket prices start at $25. Buy tickets online at Ticketmaster or call Grand Rapids Ballet Box Office at 616-454-477. For more information, visit Grand Rapids Ballet on Facebook.
With the critical acclaim of the new “Nutcracker” and the sold out “Swan Lake” shows, Grand Rapids Ballet is off to a highly successful 2014-15 Season. After the two “Movemedia” productions, Grand Rapids Ballet will present the world premiere of Mario Radacovsky’s “Beethoven” in May. If the tickets sales for “Nutcracker” and the sold out “Swan Lake” are any indication of ticket sale trends, West Michigan ballet fans may want to get their tickets early for the rest of the season to be sure not to miss a show.
Originally published on Examiner.com on February 16, 2015