Susan Jaffe's Swan Lake Closes Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Season
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre 2021-2022 season comes to a close in May with the premiere of Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake.
From May 6-15, the Benedum Center will be filled with the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s iconic score being played by the PBT Orchestra and the brilliance of more than 100 handmade costumes.
“I am incredibly exhilarated to present my version of Swan Lake this May. What I love so much about Swan Lake is that it is the ultimate test of a ballerina’s powers, not only in character but in physicality. The dancer playing Odette-Odile must portray a wide emotional scope — from the softness and vulnerability of Odette to the attack of Odile, a femme fatale.”
Swan Lake tells the story of the beautiful princess Odette, cursed by the evil wizard Von Rothbart to live as a swan by day, only able to assume her human guise in the hours of darkness. When the young Prince Siegfried witnesses her transformation from a swan into a beautiful maiden, he discovers that the spell can only be broken if her true love swears his love and faithfulness to her.
However, the wicked Von Rothbart and his daughter Odile have other plans up their sleeves. Classical precision, superb storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s evocative score collide to create one of ballet’s most iconic works of art.
Debuting in this new production is original choreography from Jaffe, a seasoned and celebrated Swan Queen herself. Though the storyline remains traditional, Jaffe says the choreography, which she created after the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, will be her own rendition of the ballet.
“There are many endings to Swan Lake – mine is one of tragedy and redemption all at the same time, because life is a dichotomy,” says Ms. Jaffe.
Jaffe first danced the role of Odette-Odile for American Ballet Theatre at the age of 19 and gave a performance that The New York Times called, “a beautiful triumph.” She danced the role every year of her 22-year illustrious career, including international performances.
Featured Photo of PBT Artist Marisa Grywalski in Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake. Photo by Duane Rieder.