Louisville Ballet Returns to the Physical Stage with Swan Lake + The Brown-Forman Nutcracker

Tickets on sale now for the Ballet’s 70th Anniversary Season fall performances

LOUISVILLE, KY – After over a year on the virtual stage, Louisville Ballet will be returning to the Brown Theater with an exhilarating update to the classic, Swan Lake. The performance will run from November 11th – 13th and is the inaugural production of the ballet’s 70th Anniversary Season. The show will open on a Thursday at 7:30 p.m., a change from previous years. 

Louisville Ballet’s Swan Lake has been reimagined again from Artistic Director Robert Curran’s original premiere in 2016. Curran collaborates with Louisville-based laser scenic designers Ryan Daly and Garrett Crabtree (also known as Lapis Laser Display), to develop a unique interpretation of this classic tale of love and betrayal.  Although the choreography stays true to the original, the lights act as an extension of the dancers themselves, creating scenes with laser motion, and setting a stage unlike anything traditionally seen in ballet theatre. 

“For decades, lasers have been a symbol of the future and of science fiction. When we first developed the concept for our version of Swan Lake, we couldn’t resist the idea of marrying these elements with the timeless classic,” said Robert Curran. “While these themes may seem juxtaposed, the story of Swan Lake is one of reality vs fantasy. The story confronts ideas of perception and conformity. Our interpretation truly captures the heart of the story – just in a modern way.” 

While laser technology is not new to this season’s production, audiences will be introduced to updated pieces by costume designer Tiffany Woodard. The new costumes challenge traditional tropes of light and dark, conformity and uniformity. Rather than in white or black, dancers will be clothed in leotards and tutus matching their ranges of skin tones. In doing so, the ballet pushes back on problematic aspects of the original production which was expected to be physically homogeneous. 

“I love the traditional Swan Lake, but we need to be telling historical stories with new constructs so that we are speaking to and representing the communities we serve,” said Curran. “My hope is that we’ve created something that will surprise and transport our audiences while preserving the story’s exploration of profoundly human struggles—family relationships, love, betrayal, and redemption.”

Additionally, the final performance of Swan Lake will feature beloved Company Dancer Erica De La O, in her last performance with Louisville Ballet. A native of East Los Angeles, CA., De La O trained at Le Studio P.D.T under the direction of Phillip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young. She continued her studies with Daylena Ruiz Garcia, Marat Daukayev, and Hasmik Amirian. Under the tutelage of Bruce Simpson and Helen Starr, she joined the Louisville Ballet in 2003. De La O will perform her “Swan Song” on Saturday, November 13th at 8pm

Tickets are also on sale for the holiday must-see, The Brown-Forman Nutcracker. With choreography by Val Caniparoli and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker tells the classic story of Marie, her Nutcracker Prince, and their journey to the world of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Filled with magic, artistry, awe-inspiring sets, and costumes, and distinctly Louisville touches, The Brown-Forman Nutcracker will be performed at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts from December 11th – 23rd

Tickets are available at www.LouisvilleBallet.org or by calling (502) 583-2623. Season ticket holders automatically get access to the performances. Purchase season tickets here. Watch the Swan Lake promotional video here

Louisville Ballet remains 100% committed to undertaking any and all measures to keep our artists, staff, and audiences safe. Louisville Ballet supports Kentucky Performing Arts’ (KPA) policy of requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend all performances at any KPA venue. These venues include The Kentucky Center, Brown Theatre, and Old Forester’s Paristown Hall. KPA’s current mask requirements will also continue at this time.

Click the image below to watch a preview of futuristic Robert Curran’s Swan Lake