Good or bad swan? OKC Ballet presents "Swan Lake"

“Swan Lake” presents good and evil in terms of black and white. Photo provided.

Set to the hauntingly beautiful score by Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake is the much-loved tale of Odette, a beautiful maiden who is transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer, and the Prince who swears his enduring love for her.

The ballet is a hallmark of the classical repertoire and presents good and evil in terms of black and white. First performed in 1877, the story is of Odette, who represents good as a White Swan, while her nemesis, Odile, represents evil as the Black Swan. Baron Von Rothbart is the evil sorcerer who casts the spell on Odette that turns her into a Swan and sets the scene for the action.

The music for Swan Lake was composed by Pytor Tchaikovsky, one of his famous trilogy of ballet scores; the other two are The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, both performed last season by OKC Ballet. It will be performed live by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic under the direction of guest conductor Martin West, of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for the performances of Swan Lake.

With many versions done throughout the years, this staging will be a combination of the original choreography from Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, supplemented with choreography from Artistic Director Robert Mills.

“We do an ending that also is in keeping with the traditional synopsis, in that the main characters throw themselves into the lake of tears in an attempt to be together in the afterlife,” said Mills. “It’s a tragic ending.”

The spectacular sets and costumes come from Ballet West in Salt Lake City and will not disappoint.

“It’s been four years since we’ve done the production, and it will be bigger and better than before,” added Mills.

The large cast will use the entire company and the staging will have 24 swans. There also are a number of children from The School of Oklahoma City Ballet cast in the production. These students will audition in September for the roles.

Oklahoma City Ballet will present the classic good-versus-evil tale of Swan Lake on the Civic Center Music Hall stage, October 20-22.

The family-friendly classical ballet in three acts is approximately two-and-a-half hours in length. For more information, visit, or call (405) 848-TOES (8637). 

Copyright The Gayly – September 29, 2017 @ 9:45 a.m. CDT.