"Swan Lake" Review

Runs From Until February 23rd at the Keller Auditorium

Photo by Andy Batt
By Trey Reis
Feb 19 12:00am

The Swan Lake ballet was first performed in Russia 150 years ago, almost to the day (March 4). Looking at the remaining schedule for this Oregon Ballet Theater season, Swan Lake will be the oldest production put on by the company this year. It's a testament to the timelessness of Tchaikovsky's classic masterpiece.


Each new interpretation is an exploration into the differing eras of this ballet's long history of varying choreographies. The choice to perform it this season among a schedule weighed heavily toward newer material is proof of OBT's consistent depth and fearlessness from season to season. Considering the recent conversation about OBT's economic future and the resignation of it's nine-year artistic director, Christoper Stowell, the undertaking of this ballet classic is a statement of the company's enduring quality.


Under the direction of the Interim Artistic Director, Anne Mueller, the four acts of the ballet move between the setting of royal festivities and the misty, moonlit swan lake in the forest just outside the city boundaries. Each rise and fall of the red curtain carried new choreography of innocence and deception, floating along on Tchaikovsky's composition like the mist over the lake.


The direct connection between the dancers and the symphony was highlighted throughout by the numerous opportunities for the dancers to highlight their skills, whether representing a swan or performing in the courtyard of the royal manor. This precision is what OBT has become known for, and further cements the company's ability to cover all forms of ballet, ranging from the oldest classics to drawing up brand new choreography for contemporary works.


Swan Lake Saturday night at the Keller Auditorium and will continue through next Saturday, the 23rd. It will be the final production for OBT's principal performer, Yuka Iino, who has been with the company since 2003. Her performance adds another layer of meaning to Swan Lake's lasting concept of the swan song, wherein the Swan Queen performs her final dance before accepting her fate to remain a swan, and flying off beyond the boundaries of the stage, forever.


For tickets and more information, click here.