A Different Swan

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October 13th, 2016

Omaha, NE – Ballet Nebraska gives a new look to Swan Lake.

ballet-nebraska-swan-lakeBallet Nebraska’s season-opening production of Swan Lake will be Saturday, October 22nd at 7:30 p.m. inside the Orpheum Theater in downtown Omaha. Generally recognized as one of the most beloved ballets of all time, the show features the classic choreography of Marius Petipa and iconic score from Tchaikovsky. Ballet Nebraska Artistic Director Erika Overturff said the show is standard bearer for a lot of companies.

Swan Lake is a very technically demanding ballet but one of the magical things about dance is making the very difficult look very easy. It’s graceful and elegant. That’s the challenge with some of the dancing; it’s very technical and precise but that can’t override telling the story and building the characters. It has to look natural.”

This year, balletmaster Matthew Carter has added a prologue that lays the groundwork for who the characters in the show are, how they relate to each other, and why they treat each other the way they do. It’s a narrative focus that Overturff said enhances the impact of an already vibrant story.

“I think with a lot of ballets, they come from somewhere. It’s an old folk tale or something. The story is developed and it makes sense to dancers because it’s the traditional story that you know. But, when we stop and think about it, we think, ‘What in this story really works? What could we tie together to make it more believable and more meaningful?’”

Swan Lake is a huge undertaking for any ballet company. The choreography is both technically and athletically challenging. It’s the coupling of the story with the athletic feats on stage blending with the music that brings the unexpected to the classic.

“The first thing I would say is the music. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s tell the story itself. Just getting to be in the studio everyday and listening to that music is such a pleasure. The music could move you to tears it’s so beautiful. The other thing about Swan Lake is the unity that it brings. The dancers have to work so hard to be together, especially the corps de ballet, the court of swans. They’re really the backbone of the ballet. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of discipline. That’s one of the neat things about working on this ballet; it brings everybody together and unifies the company.”

Ballet Nebraska’s production of Swan Lake will be Saturday, October 22nd at 7:30 p.m. inside the Orpheum Theater in downtown Omaha. For more information on the production, visit www.BalletNebraska.org

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