Carolina Ballet's streamlined Swan Lake celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Durham Performing Arts Center | Dance | Indy Week
Pin It

Carolina Ballet's streamlined Swan Lake celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Durham Performing Arts Center 

Carolina Ballet celebrates the 10th anniversary of its streamlined Swan Lake

Photo by Armes Photography

Carolina Ballet celebrates the 10th anniversary of its streamlined Swan Lake

How does the rest of the story go again?" a young audience member asked during intermission at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. Her mother recapped: The prince will be tricked into declaring his love for the wrong girl, who looks identical to his love but has a clearly different personality. "So the moral of the story is to not judge a book by its cover," the mother said. "Fall in love based off someone's personality, not looks."

A revered masterpiece, Swan Lake is regarded as the epitome of classical ballet. Often performed by large companies, it has been innovatively adapted by the smaller Carolina Ballet. Its production, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is based on a children's storybook version by Lisbeth Zwerger, which accounts for its happy ending. After the Raleigh date we saw, the production finishes its current run at DPAC this weekend.

A prince's mother plans to hold a ball where he must select his future wife. When swans catch his attention by his backyard lake, he pursues them with hunting on his mind. Instead, he spots a beautiful maiden and a sorcerer. He finds out that the maiden and her friends are cursed to turn into swans during the day. The spell will be broken if a man truly loves her.

The prince declares that he does, and they part ways. At the ball, he can only think of the Swan Princess, even though he is surrounded by other attractive female suitors. The dancers playing them excelled technically in their solos; group choreography during the ball effectively incorporated social dancing in mesmerizing formations.

Suddenly, the sorcerer and his daughter appear at the ball. She looks identical to the demure Swan Princess, but is dressed in black. Ignoring the Black Swan's vain demeanor, the prince embraces her. The Swan Princess sees his betrayal and flees, with the prince following her. A well-orchestrated scrim effect illuminates a window panel in the backdrop to showcase the heartbroken Swan Princess.

In a scene where the sorcerer causes the lake to overflow, trying to drown the lovebirds, the waves are depicted simply, with three long strips of fabric spanning the back, center and front of the stage, rippled by assistants holding the ends offstage. Instead, the sorcerer is swept away, while the prince and Swan Princess escape to live happily ever after. Oliver Beres, who plays the sorcerer, convincingly acted like he was inundated by the waves.

The second act proved to be the more emotionally engaging. The prince's pas de deux with the Swan Princess and the Black Swan contrasted ethereal love against the power of seduction. And Lilyan Vigo brought swan-like grace to the role of the Princess, especially during a set of attitude devant (leg bent in front) turns with flapping arms. Near the end of the first act, the sorcerer tossed her up in the air, and she impressively twisted twice before the prince caught her. Richard Krusch was a standout as the prince, and stunned me as he alternated between tours en l'air (turns in the air) and triple pirouettes.

Carolina Ballet's Swan Lake mainly adheres to the traditional storyline, albeit in a condensed format. If only because of the humanistic desire to see good triumph over evil, the adapted ending was more pleasing to me than the bittersweet original one. Though even the youngest viewers know this story, its message remains evergreen: Appearances can be deceiving; love can be blinding.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Barre and feather."

  • After dates at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium, the famed ballet finishes its run in Durham this weekend.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Dance



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

It's good to see the Independent covering the Carolina Ballet, but this review seems mostly concerned with seeming clever, and …

by Rob Tiller on Carolina Ballet opens season with Balanchine program (Dance)

"What Balanchine needs is someone to do for him what he did for his great forebear Petipa: clear out the …

by Denise Cerniglia on Carolina Ballet opens season with Balanchine program (Dance)

Wow, I have to say that the hip-hop dance was my favorite of the evening by far. I have attended …

by RogerTheGeek on Stylistic collisions with good and bad results at Carolina Ballet (Dance)

Readers: As always, we had a lot more to say about the ADF than we could ever hope to fit …

by Byron Woods, Indy Contributing Editor, Live Arts on The best and not-best of ADF 2011 (Dance)

The buzz is out there on this company. Can't wait for Sunday!

by fringe benefit on Ex-Pilobolus dancer Gaspard Louis unveils his own company (Dance)

Comments

It's good to see the Independent covering the Carolina Ballet, but this review seems mostly concerned with seeming clever, and …

by Rob Tiller on Carolina Ballet opens season with Balanchine program (Dance)

"What Balanchine needs is someone to do for him what he did for his great forebear Petipa: clear out the …

by Denise Cerniglia on Carolina Ballet opens season with Balanchine program (Dance)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation