S.C. Dance Theater presents ‘Swan Lake’ this weekend
The South Carolina Dance Theatre presents “Swan Lake“ on March 18 at 7:30 p.m.; March 19, at 3 p.m., and March 20 at 3 p.m. at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center. One of the greatest romantic ballets of all time, Swan Lake has endured for more than 130 years. It is performed to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Commissioned by the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre in 1877, the ballet was staged by Marius Petipa who created beautiful and challenging dances, weaving a tapestry of story telling of the classic story of the beautiful but cursed Swan Queen Odette, her passionate Prince Siegfried, and the love that unites them through eternity. Known as a technically difficult ballet, Swan Lake is challenging for dancers who consider it as being one of the highlights of being a dancer.
The company has enjoyed the challenge and is pleased to present this classical ballet to the community. The ballet is under the direction of Susan Rowe, Artistic Director. Leading roles are danced by Caitlin Holt as Odette, Hannah Griffin as Odile, Sean Armstrong as Prince Siegfried and Carson Munn as Baron Von Rothbart.
The Swan Corps is danced by Rosemary Flamini, Camille Knockemus, Elizabeth King, McKenna Dynan, Gracie Wilson, Ella Naylor, Reeve Barnes-Young, Grace Munn, Bailey Barefoot, Kailey White, Natalie Dean and Alyssa Hanna. The Jester is performed by Reeve Barnes-Young and the Peasants are Bailey Barefoot, Carolyn Conner, Isabelle Dauksch, Ava Hatchell, Alyssa McGee, Ella Miller, Carly Lewis, Sallyann Frost, Kushbu Jivan, Saviah Miller, Kaylee Bair, Kristen Carter, Maria Evans, Faith Miller, Alaina Naylor, Lilly Merzlak, Ella Warner and Katelyn Whitlow.
Christy Barnard, a former member of the company, will guest as the queen for the performance. Her attendants are Caroline Askins, Sara Grace Askins, Vanessa Brewton, Addyson Calcutt, Layla Cole, Lillie Grace Hinson, Stasia Nikolakakos, McKinley Riley, Jazmin Rodriguez, Molly Sammons, Olivia Schirippa, Allison Small, Madison Small and Abi Urquhart.
Peasant children in the production are Giada Basta, Natalie Brewton, Catherine Canfield, Lydia Danford, Annie Ruth Eliason, Isabella Hess, Ella Grace Jordan, Maya Lee, Sophia Medina, Lauren Schneider, Isadora Seeber, Ava Shockey, Cecily Smith, Emma Wentzel, Sophia Sargent and Mary Campbell Adams.
The National Dances will be performed as follows: Hungarian by Carly Lewis and Carolyn Conner with Kaylee Bair, Kristen Carter, Maria Evans, Lilly Merzlak, Faith Miller, Alaina Naylor, Ella Warner and Katelyn Whitlow; Spanish by Kushbu Jivan, Kailey White, Natalie Dean with Saviah Miller, Ava Hatchell, Sallyann Frost, Alyssa McGee; Neapolitan by Elizabeth King and Rosemary Flamini with Isabelle Dauksch, Bailey Barefoot and Ella Miller; and Princesses by Camille Knockemus with McKenna Dynan, Ella Naylor, Alyssa Hanna, Gracie Wilson and Grace Munn.
The company welcomes Sean Armstrong as guest artist in the role of Prince Siegfried. He is a company member with the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, N.C. and has trained with the Classical Ballet Center in Summerville and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C. Since 2009, Armstrong has been in the Corps de Ballet with the Carolina Ballet.
The story is about Prince Siegfried who is reaching the age of majority. His mother announces that it is time for him to marry and a ball is held in his honor. Young women are presented to him and as his mother leaves, darkness falls and a flock of swans appear. The Prince decides to shoot one with his crossbow and sets off to follow the swans.
While the Prince is alone, the Swan Queen comes to him in the human form of Odette who proceeds to tell him that she is under the spell of an evil magician, Von Rothbart. She reveals that by day, she and her friends are turned into swans, and that until she marries, she has no protection from the spell. The swans arrive and reproach the Prince for attempting to deprive them of their beloved leader.
Odette intercedes and the Prince discards his crossbow. He and Odette dance and profess their love. The following evening a feast is held to honor the Prince’s birthday. After the guests have arrived, the Prince’s mother wants to know which young woman he will choose. She is annoyed when he replies that he has chosen none of them.
Baron Rothbart enters the party with the sorceress, Odile, who holds a very close resemblance to Odette. The invited Princesses dance but the Prince has no interest in them. Rothbart forcefully presents Odette to the Prince, and the Prince falls for the trick that she is Odile. After confessing his love to her, Rothbart makes the Prince swear he loves her. Rothbart appears with the Prince’s mother to announce a betrothal.
Suddenly, the Prince sees a white swan with crown. He is horrified when he realizes that Odile is not Odette and he rushes away. Heartbroken and distraught, Odette is surrounded by all of the swans. Prince Siegfried finds them and explains to Odette the trickery of Von Rothbart. As she forgives him, Rothbart arrives and announces to the Prince that he must keep his word to marry Odile or the spell will not be broken.
When he refuses, a fight follows and the pull between Odette and Odile continues. Finally, Von Rothbart and the sorceress leave and although the spell is not broken, Prince Siegfried and Odette confess their eternal love. Ticket prices are $32/$27/$22 in accordance with three levels of seating. All student tickets are $15. Reservations are available by calling the PAC box office at 661-4444 during box office hours of noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets online, visit the online box office at www.fmupac.org.