HomeEntertainmentRussian Ballet Theatre launches new production of ‘Swan Lake’

Russian Ballet Theatre launches new production of ‘Swan Lake’

The tour hits the stage in Trenton, New Jersey on Feb. 15

Source: Amal Khalikov

Russian Ballet Theatre announced a new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake that will travel to 52 cities across the United States, including Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Trenton at the Patriots Theatre at the War Memorial, which is a brief drive from Bucks County.

Tickets can be purchased at russianballettheatre.com/tickets. For group sale inquiries, email co-producer Gulya Hartwick at hartwick@russianballettheatre.com.

Russian Ballet Theatre is excited to hit the road and tour with Swan Lake for the first time since 2019. It is presented by co-producers Sasha Gorskaya and Gulya Hartwick. The production team includes choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina, production designer Sergey Novikov, SFX makeup designer Irina Strukova and principal ballet mistress Tatyana Linnik.

Prima ballerina Olga Kifyak will dance the lead roles of Odette (The White Swan) and Odile (The Black Swan) – a unique and bold casting choice for the American 2022 tour. The cast also includes the talents of Evgeny Svetlitsa as Prince Siegfried, Mikhail Ovcharov as Jester and Vasili Bogdan as Rothbart.

In Swan Lake, one of Tchaikovsky’s most ravishing scores is paired with an enchanted love story inspired by Russian and German folk tales. On his 21st birthday, Prince Siegfried is told he must marry from an array of princesses selected for him. Upset that he is not being allowed to marry for love, Siegfried escapes into the night where he spies and becomes smitten with the beautiful swan princess Odette. Will the two be able to break the curse that has made her a swan, or will the conniving sorcerer Rothbart thwart their plans to be together forever?

“Although we are telling the classic story of Swan Lake, there are tweaks here and there that make the show new and exciting,” said Hartwick. “We have all new choreography. Usually, there is one jester. We have five of them. We did what we could to make the production more lively and more colorful.”

Kalinina has retouched the oldest St. Petersburg version of the ballet, adding her vision and something more. With a new prologue, she offers an explanation for the wrath of evil sorcerer Rothbart.

RBT’s international ballet corps will draw talent from 10 different countries. The dancers will bring Kalinina’s choreography to life along with new hand-painted sets and 150 new hand-sewn costumes, all designed by Novikov.

On dancing the lead roles of Odette and Odile – a major feat since many productions feature two dancers playing the two roles – Kifyak said, “Swan Lake is a challenging ballet to dance. I dance two roles, opponent to each other. In act one, you see gentle Odette – the purity, modesty, perfection. So, the dance has to look light and effortless, but that takes a lot – the more delicate it seems, the more substantial power it takes. And then in act three, Odile comes into the picture. She is a mean character – insidious, sarcastic, reaching for her goal.

“Almost all theaters have two different dancers playing Odette/Odile. I like dancing in both of these roles. It is fascinating to have an opportunity to be two completely different characters. The acting part is crucial. The audience must believe you. There can’t be any movement, mimics or facial expression flaws of the character.”

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $90. Updated health and safety protocols for this venue are available at nj.gov/state/memorial. Patriots Theater at the War Memorial is located at 1 Memorial Drive in Trenton, New Jersey.

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