After half a decade away, Tulsa Ballet’s Swan Lake returns to the stage.
Accompanied by live music from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, this iconic ballet returns to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Artistic Director Marcello Angelini‘s adaptation of this epitome of classical ballet features scenery and costumes by designer Peter Cazalet.
The first successful staging of Swan Lake premiered in 1895, two years after the death of Tchaikovsky, its success due to the new choreography by the fathers of classical ballet: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Unfortunately, only the legendary Act Two remains of the original production, which means Angelini had to undertake re-staging the classic by re-choreographing three out of the four acts.
“The challenge is to stay true to the choreographic architecture that Petipa and Ivanov devised for their production, as well as to adhere to the stylistic aesthetics of the original choreography. The reason I decided, back in 1998, to re-choreograph the work myself is that I had the privilege of dancing many productions of this work in my past life as a dancer, including Andre Prokovsky’s production and Ivan Nagy’s rendering of this work. Having danced over 80 performances of this classic gave me a good idea of what belongs in the ballet.”
Artistic Director of Tulsa Ballet
While Angelini’s goal was to keep the ballet classical, many edits were made including reducing the overall runtime from four hours to just two and half. He meticulously went through the score and various vignettes to edit all of the pieces out that were not instrumental in telling the core story.
He also expanded the figure of Rothbart, the evil magician, as the alter ego of the Prince. In Tulsa Ballet’s version of Swan Lake, Rothbart represents the dark side of the Prince’s personality. The audience will see the internal struggle of Prince Siegfried, which is finally resolved when he is able to face and accept his challenges. The swans lose their feathers, become beautiful young maidens and love is restored.
Ballet aficionados will be able to appreciate the quality of the dancing and the subtleties of the choreography. Marcello says,
“Swan Lake is one of the most difficult classical ballets ever and is really the measuring yard of any ballerina, principal male dancer and for the company as a whole. It’s a ballet everyone can enjoy, from children, to parents, to grandparents. It’s the perfect opportunity for the entire family to see a ballet performance.”