Ballet Preljocaj - Swan Lake - Detroit Opera

OVERVIEW

 

A visionary take on a masterpiece bridging ballet and modern dance.

Contemporary dance superstar Angelin Preljocaj tackles the Mount Everest of the ballet world with his new take on Swan Lake.

Combining Tchaikovsky’s musical masterpiece with contemporary arrangements, he reinvents the timeless tale of love, betrayal, seduction, and remorse into a contemporary ecological tragedy. The evil sorcerer von Rothbart is portrayed as an industrialist who wants to exploit fossil fuels against a backdrop of unbridled capitalism, while Siegfried and Odette are the two eco-conscious heroes who try to thwart his plans.

With 26 dancers, this Swan Lake truly takes flight in its beautiful tribute to the original. Audiences who have seen Ballet Preljocaj’s previous four appearances in Ann Arbor, including the magical Snow White a decade ago, are in for a treat when classical ballet meets modern dance on the stage of the Detroit Opera House.

 


 

PRESS

 

“An exhilarating piece of dizzying dance and inventive choreography.” 

– Chroniques de danse

“A Lake light as a feather. Magic and poetic.” 

– La Provence

“A new Lake, written with intention and talent.” 

– Danser Canal Historique

“Inventive, spectacular and rich with references, Angelin Preljocaj’s Swan Lake looks at familiar scenes and figures with new eyes to give them a new meaning.”

– Zibeline

“Angelin Preljocaj manages to create a popular show without renouncing artistic standards. Carried by a troupe of powerful dancers who are literally devouring the stage, he successfully climbs on top of the magic mountain that is Swan Lake.” 

– Danses avec la plume

“Angelin Preljocaj returns to an ominous tale where love is neither triumphant nor victorious. His writing is rich and abundant, drawing from neoclassicism as well as electro pop (…). Angelin Preljocaj treats each movement with his usual finesse, breathing life into each scene of the ballet. (…) A melancholic dream which elegance and breathtaking moments make for a moving experience.” 

– L’œil d’Olivier

“The choreographer achieves the feat of rewriting Swan Lake in its entirety while paying homage to Bourmeister’s choreography through multiple references. (…) It’s a different story set in a different world and the result is absolutely delightful. The movements of the dancers are of an exceptional quality and the visual effects are well executed, with lights shaping each choreographic space. Angelin Preljocaj playfully transgresses established codes but never loses his footing, giving us a highly enjoyable Lake.” 

– Le Figaro Magazine

FAST FACTS

Choreography: Angelin Preljocaj
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Additional Music: 79D
Video Designer: Boris Labbé
Costume Designer: Igor Chapurin
Lighting Designer: Éric Soyer

In partnership with University Musical Society, Ann Arbor.

Artists

Angelin Preljocaj

Founder

Synopsis

Swan Lake is a four-act ballet inspired by a German tale, on a music by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky.

Act I

Prince Siegfried arrives at his 21st birthday celebration on the palace courtyards. Here, he finds all of the royal families and townspeople dancing and celebrating, while the young girls are anxiously seeking his attention. During the exquisite celebration, his mother gives him a crossbow. She informs him that because he is now of age, his marriage will be quickly arranged. Hit with the sudden realization of his future responsibilities, he takes his crossbow and runs to the woods with his hunting buddies.

Act 2

Getting ahead of the group, Prince Siegfried finds himself alone in a peaceful spot by an enchanted lake where swans gently float across its surface. While Siegfried watches, he spots the most beautiful swan with a crown on its head. His buddies soon catch up, but he orders them to leave so he can be by himself. As dusk falls, the swan with the crown turns into the most beautiful young woman he has ever seen. Her name is Odette, the Swan Queen. Odette informs the young prince about an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, who happens to be disguised as Prince Siegfried’s mentor. It was Rothbart who turned her and the other girls into swans. The lake was formed by the tears of their parents’ weeping. She tells him that the only way the spell can be broken is if a man, pure in heart, pledges his love to her. The prince, about to confess his love for her, is quickly interrupted by the evil sorcerer. He takes Odette from Prince Siegfried’s embrace and commands all of the swan maidens to dance upon the lake and its shore so that the prince cannot chase them. Prince Siegfried is left all alone on the shore of Swan Lake.

Act 3

The next day at the formal celebration in the Royal Hall, Prince Siegfried is presented with many prospective princesses. Although the ladies are worthy of his attention, he cannot stop thinking about Odette. His mother commands him to choose a bride, but he cannot. For the time being, he satisfies his mother’s request by dancing with them. While the prince dances, trumpets announce the arrival of Von Rothbart. He brings his daughter, Odile, on whom he has cast a spell to appear as Odette. The prince is captivated by her beauty and he dances with the imposter. Unbeknownst to Prince Siegfried, the true Odette is watching him from a window. The prince soon confesses his love to Odile and proposes marriage, thinking that she is Odette. Horrified, Odette flees into the night. Prince Siegfried sees the real Odette running from the window and realizes his mistake. Upon his discovery, Von Rothbart reveals to the prince the true appearance of his daughter Odile. Prince Siegfried quickly leaves the party and chases after Odette.

Act 4

Odette has fled to the lake and joined the rest of the girls in sadness. Prince Siegfried finds them gathered at the shore consoling each other. He explains to Odette the trickery of Von Rothbart and she grants him her forgiveness.
It doesn’t take long for Von Rothbart and Odile to appear in their evil, un-human, and somewhat bird-like forms. Von Rothbart tells the prince that he must stick to his word and marry his daughter. A fight quickly ensues.
Prince Siegfried tells Von Rothbart that he would rather die with Odette than marry Odile. He then takes Odette’s hand and together they jump into the lake.
The spell is broken and the remaining swans turn back into humans. They quickly drive Von Rothbart and Odile into the water where they, too, drown. The girls watch the spirits of Prince Siegfried and Odette ascend into the heavens above Swan Lake.

Videos

Sponsors

Season Sponsor

Spring Dance Sponsor

Supported by:

Richard & Joanne Brodie
Marvin, Betty, and Joanne Danto Family Foundation
Kevin Dennis & Jeremy Zeltzer

FAST FACTS

Choreography: Angelin Preljocaj
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Additional Music: 79D
Video Designer: Boris Labbé
Costume Designer: Igor Chapurin
Lighting Designer: Éric Soyer

In partnership with University Musical Society, Ann Arbor.

Sponsors

Season Sponsor

Spring Dance Sponsor

Supported by:

Richard & Joanne Brodie
Marvin, Betty, and Joanne Danto Family Foundation
Kevin Dennis & Jeremy Zeltzer