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Swan Lake

 
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Anthony De Luca
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Swan Lake Reply with quote

Cast

Princess Odette (The White Swan) - Eeva Cohen
Prince Siegfried - James Willis
Queen, Siegfried's Mother - Merethyl Benoit
Von Rothbart - Anthony De Luca
Odile (The Black Swan) - Josette Wheeler
Benno von Sommerstern - Michael Blanchard (NPC)
Wolfgang - Christian Benoit
Swans Corps Leader - Pearl Fand
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Anthony De Luca
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Synopsis

Act 1

A magnificent park before a palace.


Prince Siegfried is celebrating his birthday with his tutor, friends and peasants. The revelries are interrupted by Siegfried’s mother, the Queen, who is concerned about her son’s carefree lifestyle. She tells him that he must choose a bride at the royal ball the following evening. Siegfried is upset that he cannot marry for love. His friend Benno and the tutor try to lift his troubled mood. As evening falls, Benno sees a flock of swans flying overhead and suggests they go on a hunt. Siegfried and his friends take their crossbows and set off in pursuit of the swans.

Act 2


A lakeside clearing in a forest by the ruins of a chapel. A moonlit night.

Siegfried has become separated from his friends. He arrives at the lakeside clearing, just as a flock of swans land nearby. He aims his crossbow at the swans, but freezes when one of them transforms into a beautiful maiden, Odette. At first, she is terrified of Siegfried. When he promises not to harm her, she tells him that she is the Swan Queen Odette. She and her companions are victims of a terrible spell cast by the evil owl-like sorcerer Von Rothbart. By day they are turned into swans and only at night, by the side of the enchanted lake – created from the tears of Odette's mother – do they return to human form. The spell can only be broken if one who has never loved before swears to love Odette forever. Von Rothbart suddenly appears. Siegfried threatens to kill him but Odette intercedes – if Von Rothbart dies before the spell is broken, it can never be undone. As Von Rothbart disappears, the swan maidens fill the clearing. Siegfried breaks his crossbow, and sets about winning Odette’s trust as the two fall in love. But as dawn arrives, the evil spell draws Odette and her companions back to the lake and they are turned into swans again.

Act 3


An opulent hall in the palace.

Guests arrive at the palace for a costume ball. Six princesses are presented to the prince, one of whom his mother hopes he will choose as his bride. Then Von Rothbart arrives in disguised with his enchantress daughter, Odile, transformed so that she appears identical to Odette in all respects. Though the princesses try to attract the prince with their dances, Siegfried, mistaking Odile for Odette, has eyes only for her and dances with Odile. Odette appears as a vision and vainly tries to warn Siegfried that he is being deceived. But Siegfried remains oblivious and proclaims to the court that he intends to make Odile his wife. Von Rothbart shows Siegfried a magical vision of Odette and he realises his mistake. Grief-stricken, Siegfried hurries back to the lake.

Act 4


By the lakeside.


Odette is distraught at Siegfried’s betrayal. The swan-maidens try to comfort her, but she is resigned to death. Siegfried returns to the lake and finds Odette. He makes a passionate apology. She forgives him and the pair reaffirm their love. Von Rothbart appears and insists that Siegfried fulfill his pledge to marry Odile, after which Odette will be transformed into a swan forever. Siegfried chooses to die alongside Odette and they leap into the lake. This breaks Von Rothbart's spell over the swan maidens, causing him to lose his power over them and he dies. In an apotheosis, the swan maidens watch as Siegfried and Odette ascend into the Heavens together, forever united in love.

Program Note: Please join us in welcoming Merethyl Benoit back from maternity leave. Also note, Melissa Burlington has left the company to join the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater as a principal dancer. Pearl Fand will be taking her place as Leader of the Corps de Ballet. We wish Melissa good luck in all her future endeavors.
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Josette Wheeler
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I heard that you like the bad girls honey, is that true?" - Lana Del Rey


Enter Odile--

Moving through all the ethereal white backstage, she parts a sea of white swans like like a dark oil spill upon the Third Act. Black tulle flutters all around her like a smoldering smokescreen, the crystal embellished bodice sprouting ink dark wings up towards her pretty clavicles to create a deep "v" for a more daring décolletage than her demure opposite, Odette.

Odile.

Patron Saint of the Blind--the sweet irony and tragedy of it all. She is no saint. A beauty like hers is too bewitchingly blasphemous with the pretty pomegranate red of her mouth-- like she's just freshly supped with Persephone in the underworld.

Now, she's eager for a dance.

One has to wonder if is it indeed the spell that blinds the Prince? Or is this little catalyst both the mask and the cruel reveal of the truth? When such "true love" sworn is so quickly forgotten, could it be that it may be only skin deep? Odile loved to dabble her pretty fingers in such pot stirring notions.

VonRothbart presents her, but she needs no introduction, anymore than she needs his permission to enter. No need for names. Her presence announces itself. This dark daughter of a sorcerer has a hidden secret tucked in a shadowed dimple of her smile. Daddy dearest thinks she's there to do his bidding, but it's really for her own amusement that she agrees--wicked, unrepentant party crasher that she is.

He's brought a pretty little weapon to such a proper party and he knows it as he releases her--unleashes her onto the scene. Her obsidian pointe shoe hits the stage like a blade, head cocked like a gun to the side as she's lapping up the sweet cream of all the head turning whispers.

Lait lady lait...

But she's too good to be truly distracted by them as her gaze locks upon her princely prey. Like he might be something she could sink her little claws into for the night to amuse her.

She extends her arm slowly to the Prince, hand gifted as if she invites him to make an offering upon her dark altar. Something more interesting than simpering, social niceties, mundane introductions and all that suffering bore small talk. She wears no crown and covets no throne. Not a queen that commands, but rather a dark goddess that inspires a bended knee and lust laced idolatry.

And she almost looks like...

She could almost pass for...

But yet she's nothing like the sweet, innocent...

Odette.

Was that the yearning call of his beloved white swan, fervently pulling at Seigfried's heartstrings? The sweet ache of a warning through the striking glide of a violin's pretty bow?

Alas, Odile is so much more than a dark doppelgänger. She is her own enchanting entity. There is a dissonance in this once's beguiling music if one listens closely. Haunting hints that all is not what it seems with this dark swan. A variation of Odette's theme, Tchaikovsky is truly a Master and Odile adores being the wicked muse for her Maestro.

Dark winged lashes rise and fall at the proper moment to reveal only glimpses of her captivating gaze, but never the core of her wild hearted mystique. That tantalizing flick upwards like a geisha's fan to meet his eyes, only to coyly lower lashes when she senses the Prince on that palpable precipice of touch...

Snap--

goes her wrist upwards, a torturous tease when she removes her fingers a millisecond before he attempts to kiss them. The sizzling electricity still hanging heavy in the air at such a cruel denial.

She's a sly little thing, with a 'catch me if you can' dare in that brazen glance she casts over her winged shoulder blade. She dances around the prince, curling come hither fingers to lure him and she's relishing every moment with those perfect piqué turns.

Though she dances to the beats of the prince's palpitating heart, her spell is truly woven in the sinuous silence in between the notes. She's in his veins soon enough like a sweet, potent, poison that will leave him lovesick for the wrong girl.

Tsk.

Refusing to release him from the hypnotic lullaby of her finely tuned little lie, she leads and he follows offstage in a cunning bit of choreography, leaving appetites whet for more and tongues wagging in the wake of her grand jeté.

When they return moments later, the two dance their passionate pas de deux, with the creme de la creme culminating in Odile's clever coda. A dizzying feat of femme fatale fouettés.

As she spins, it seems as if she's drawing all the energy in the room to her like a dark winged vortex. Feeding off the rising build in momentum and music, the black swan has a voracious, unrepentant appetite for more.

Those fouettés are unstoppable--their very own force of nature. How like a whip she lashes that leg and head around, this cruel little mistress spinning faster and faster, a dark blur of chaotic entropy and transmutation.

She will not be satisfied before she at last has the prince on bended knee and the audience on its feet, whipped up into a frenzied cacophony of sound that could bring the house down. For who could possibly sustain such a thing for so long?

Finally, she releases all that that whirling energy back to her audience as she strikes that final pose, sending seismic shockwaves of vibration after completing her final fouetté turn with such triumphant victory, the audience explodes in an eruption of applause.

There is such sweet release when she finally touches down, it leaves her breathless and flushed with a heady kind of high, head thrown back and arms extended like wings before she finally gifts the prince with her hand as he bends a knee to proclaim to the court his love for her.

The dark swan exits the stage and the curtain soon closes upon Act 3. A haunting harbinger for the rest of this beautiful tragedy.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friday night, Colleen sat in one of the box seats with Abby and Madison. At six, they were old enough to enjoy the dancing and music. Fully understanding the story, however, was another matter. They had plenty of questions, but waited until intermission to bombard Mum with them. They would have even more questions for Pearl when the performance was over.

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