Choreography by Robert Curran | Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Featuring a scenic environment created with laser technology that transports audiences to a futuristic world, this Louisville Ballet production premiered in 2016 and was performed again live in 2021. Working with laser scenic designers, Ryan Daly and Garrett Crabtree, and with costume designer Tiffany Woodard, this “Swan Lake” includes sets and costumes that challenge concepts of light and dark, uniformity, and the meanings we attach to both.
PROLOGUE – Off Earth, sometime far into the future, we find a community at rest. Siegfried, in a waking dream, witnesses his mother, the Queen, in battle with Rothbart, an evil force that plagues the realm, preys on the weak of mind, and holds a growing influence over Siegfried. In the aftermath of the battle, Siegfried becomes mesmerized by the ghostly figure of a woman, swan-like, haunting his dreams.
ACT ONE – The public arrive in anticipation of Siegfried’s birthday celebrations. When the Queen and Siegfried join them, and as the celebrations continue, Siegfried is disappointed to find that his mother is intent on his marrying for the betterment of the realm. The Queen introduces three Ambassadors from other realms, representing potential alliances, and fiancés for the Prince, but Siegfried dismisses them. Siegfried’s friends and the public distract him from his disappointment as best they can, but ultimately they leave, allowing him to return to his waking dream.
ACT TWO – Siegfried moves between reality and fantasy. The swan-like woman of his dreams, his perfect partner Odette, appears to him with a power and vulnerability that makes him fall deeply in love. As his fantasy explodes, with fragments of Odette filling his world, his love grows and not even the creeping presence of Rothbart can diminish it. As his fantasy ends Siegfried is left with his love for Odette, but without a resolution for his reality…
ACT THREE – Siegfried’s birthday celebrations continue. Still intent on his marriage, the Queen has the three Ambassadors present their potential fiancés. Siegfried is unmoved, and escapes to his waking dream refuge to be with Odette. Siegfried’s distraction troubles the Queen. Confusing his dreams and his reality Siegfried swears his love for Odette, but in doing so unleashes the power of Rothbart. When Siegfried realizes his fate, his mind and his heart break, and he flees his reality to seek redemption and a final resolution.
ACT FOUR – Faced with the consequences of his actions, Siegfried must confront the evil force Rothbart, and battle for his redemption. His fantasy with Odette, or his painful and oppressive reality, are his only options for resolution. He is forced to choose.
Review the cast list for this virtual presentation.
Listen to interviews with Helen Starr, former principal artist and Associate Artistic Director; Bruce Simpson, former Artistic Director; and Erica De La O, Louisville Ballet Company Artist performing her final role with the Company in this production. They explore their histories, experiences, and artistic connections with this iconic ballet, and with Louisville Ballet.
Read our Étoile from the 2021 Production.