BYU Theatre Ballet is excited to present its first full-length production of “Swan Lake” during “Ballet in Concert” this weekend.
For the past few years Theatre Ballet has had the tradition of presenting full-length ballets. This year director Shani Robinson chose “Swan Lake” because it is one of her favorite productions. Also, when Robinson performed with Theatre Ballet as a student, she held the roles of both the black and white swan.
“I hope the audience will see a really beautiful representation of this classic ballet,” Robinson said. “These students have worked hard to achieve a professional level. They have been coached in their technical abilities but have also been coached in their acting in order to really pull the audience into the production.”
Restaged from Marius Petipa’s original choreography and performed to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, “Swan Lake” tells a fairytale story of forgiveness and love. The audience will enter an enchanted forest where reality fades into fantasy and love overcomes all.
“There is a lot of merit to the story,” said BYU theatre ballet dancer Natalie McChesney. “The characters are extremely human, and the production has a wonderful element of forgiveness and trust. It’s beautiful and one of the best shows we’ve had.”
A half hour before each show the BYU Theatre Ballet dancers will be featured at a “Prince and Princess” pre-show party for those attending the performance. Children of all ages are invited to dress up and meet the dancers before seeing them perform on stage. Theatre Ballet president Aubrey Pearson loves this addition to the show.
“It makes the ballet come alive,” Pearson said. “The children see that we are just normal people and that if they work hard, someday they can be on stage as a prince or princess just like us.”
McChesney also enjoys having the pre-show mix and mingle because it improves her performance.
“It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” McChesney said about the pre-show party. “They come all dressed up and usually shy away from us, but you can tell how excited they are. Also, it helps us recognize who we’re performing for and brings a new element to our shows.”
Rehearsals for “Swan Lake” started back in September 2013, and the performers have put in considerable hard work and preparation.
“This is a huge milestone for Theatre Ballet, and all of the dancers play a highly valued role in this production,” Robinson said. Robinson also said the dancers are “tired, but really excited to finally perform.”
“Swan Lake” will be performed in the de Jong Concert Hall during “Ballet in Concert” Thursday–Saturday, Jan. 30–Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee will be performed Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, with a discounted ticket price of $8 for ages 2–11, and are available at byuarts.com/tickets or by calling (801) 422–2981.