Swan Lake

Odette, a beautiful princess, is cursed by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart to live as a swan forever. Her spell can only be broken if a prince swears his everlasting love to her. Tchaikovsky’s magical score and the illustrious Black Swan pas de deux have made Swan Lake of the most enduring, moving and admired classical ballets of all time. This production will be staged by Artistic Director, Patricia Barker, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

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“Gorgeous ‘Swan Lake’ offers promising future for Grand Rapids Ballet” – Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk

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Dates
February 6-8
& 13-15, 2015
Location
Peter Martin Wege Theatre
341 Ellsworth SW
Tickets
Ballet Box Office
(616) 454-4771

SYNOPSIS

Act I

Prince Siegfried is celebrating his birthday with his tutor, friends and peasants. The revelries are interrupted by Siegfried’s mother, the Princess, who is concerned about her son’s carefree lifestyle. She tells him that he must choose a bride at the royal ball the following evening. Siegfried is upset that he cannot marry for love. His friend Benno and the tutor try to lift his troubled mood. As evening falls, Benno sees a flock of swans flying overhead and suggests they go on a hunt. Siegfried and his friends take their crossbows and set off in pursuit of the swans.

Act II

Siegfried has become separated from his friends. He arrives at the lakeside clearing, just as a flock of swans land nearby. He aims his crossbow at the swans, but freezes when one of them transforms into a beautiful maiden, Odette. At first, she is terrified of Siegfried. When he promises not to harm her, she tells him that she is the Swan Queen Odette. She and her companions are victims of a terrible spell cast by the evil owl-like sorcerer Von Rothbart. By day they are turned into swans and only at night, by the side of the enchanted lake – created from the tears of Odette’s mother – do they return to human form. The spell can only be broken if one who has never loved before swears to love Odette forever. Von Rothbart suddenly appears. Siegfried threatens to kill him but Odette intercedes – if Von Rothbart dies before the spell is broken, it can never be undone.

As Von Rothbart disappears, the swan maidens fill the clearing. Benno and his companions also arrive and aim their crossbows at the maidens; Siegfried stops them just in time and dismisses them. Now, alone with Odette and the swan-maidens, Siegfried sets about winning Odette’s trust and the two fall in love. But as dawn arrives, the evil spell draws Odette and her companions back to the lake and they are turned into swans again.

Act III
Guests arrive at the palace for a costume ball. Siegfried’s mother commands him to dance with six princesses and choose one as a bride. Siegfried complains that he does not love any of them. Von Rothbart arrives in disguise with his enchantress daughter, Odile. He has transformed Odile so that she appears identical to Odette in all respects. The prince mistakes her for Odette and dances with her. Odette appears as a vision and vainly tries to warn Siegfried that he is being deceived. But Siegfried remains oblivious and proclaims to the court that he intends to make Odile his wife. Von Rothbart shows Siegfried a magical vision of Odette and he realises his mistake. Grief-stricken, Siegfried hurries back to the lake.

Act IV
Odette is distraught at Siegfried’s betrayal. The swan-maidens try to comfort her, but she is resigned to death. Siegfried returns to the lake and finds Odette. He makes a passionate apology. She forgives him and the pair reaffirm their love. Von Rothbart appears and insists that Siegfried fulfill his pledge to marry Odile, after which Odette will be transformed into a swan forever. Siegfried chooses to die alongside Odette and they leap into the lake. This breaks Von Rothbart’s spell over the swan maidens, causing him to lose his power over them and he dies. In an apotheosis, the swan maidens watch as Siegfried and Odette ascend into the Heavens together, forever united in love.

Patricia Barker

Artistic Director, Stager

Patricia Barker, former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, is considered one of the world’s most gifted ballerinas. She received her early ballet training from Lynne Williams in Richland, WA, studied on scholarship both at Boston Ballet School with E. Virginia Williams and Violette Verdi and Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Francia Russell, Perry Brunson and Janet Reed.

Ms. Barker has danced in many of the great full length ballets and contemporary works from renowned choreographers. She performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. She appeared as a guest artist with national and international ballet companies and performed in many galas throughout the world.

Ms. Barker danced the lead role of Clara in Nutcracker the Motion Picture, and starred as Titania in the BBC’s film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a celebratory re-opening of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. She graced the covers of Dance Magazine, Danser, Pointe Magazine, Dance Australia, Dance Teacher, Dance Pages, Ballet Review and Dance International. To read more about Patricia Barker, click here…