by leslie frisbee | photo by virginia trudeau
A quintessential love story, Swan Lake is the epitome of classical ballets. Filled with romance and beauty, the ballet has been a favorite of audiences for more than a century.
Set to the emotive music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the iconic production presents its tale of passion, betrayal and triumph of good over evil, Feb. 25-26, at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a young woman cursed by the sorcerer Von Rothbart, who condemned her to take on the figure of a swan during the day and a woman overnight. Only a declaration of true love can break the curse. Desperate for her freedom, Odette’s wish is nearly granted in the form of prince Siegfried, but before he can prove his love, her seductive twin, the Black Swan, entices him into forgetting about Odette.
Choreography after Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s full-length production, complete with an orchestra, is staged by the legendary Cynthia Gregory. Gregory’s lauded performance as Odette/Odile earned her the title of America’s prima ballerina assoluta by Rudolf Nureyev. Considered one of the finest interpreters of the famous dual role, Gregory’s staging of NBT’s Swan Lake marks her 50th anniversary of her first performance in the coveted dual role.
“This has been my favorite ballet since the first time I saw it as a young dancer,” said Gregory. “I was always more suited for it than other ballets. I love the story and … I always said that Tchaikovsky wrote the music just for me.”
Tchaikovsky’s timeless score sets the stage for the brilliant choreography and searing moments of drama that illuminate one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Prior to both performances, NBT presents Insights, a free educational preperformance discussion offering patrons an opportunity to further engage with the ballet, special guests and multimedia presentations. Insights takes place in the Troesh Studio Theater 45 minutes prior to curtain at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.