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Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky's first ballet generally ranks as the number one ballet of all time, but this was not always the case. After a rocky premiere in 1877 at the Bolshoi, the ballet was reconceived in 1895 for the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, with the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo revising Tchaikovsky's score and the immortal duo of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov restaging the choreography. The Colorado Ballet's current production follows the revival, with additional choreography by Amanda McKerrow, John Gardner, and Sandra Brown, and is staged by Sandra Brown and Lorita Travaglia.

Maria Mosina as Odette
Maria Mosina as Odette
Photo: Mike Watson
This year's production is bittersweet, as it is the last time we will see Maria Mosina dance what is often considered the most coveted role in the canon, the dual persona of Odette and Odile. Mosina is retiring at the end of the season, next spring, after 20 years with the company and 25 years as a professional dancer. Her longevity performing at the highest level of artistic achievement has been a rare and exceptional gift for Colorado audiences and her performance at the Saturday night opening was equally brilliant, showing the elegance, strength, style, and endurance that have been her hallmark through the years.

Alexei Tyukov as Prince Siegfried and Maria Mosina as Odile
Alexei Tyukov as Prince Siegfried
and Maria Mosina as Odile
Photo: Mike Watson
From the sublime early pas de deux to a harp and violin (where Prince Siegfried [Alexei Tyukov] and Odette fall in love) to the sophisticated and duplicitous series in the grand ballroom (where the Prince is tricked into believing that Baron Von Rothbart's daughter, Odile, is actually Odette), to the final, poignant pas de deux at the lake (where the Prince and Odette reconcile and pledge eternal love), Mosina and Tyukov perform in beautiful harmony. Tyukov's combination of power and grace is a wonder.

Gregor Gonzales as Baron Von Rothbart and the ensemble
Gregor Gonzales as Baron Von Rothbart
and the ensemble
Photo: Mike Watson

The ensemble's lines throughout—in arrays of 16 and 24—are stunning, especially in concert with the second act swan maidens (Asuka Sasaki and Dana Benton). The divertissements in Act III— the enticing Czardas, the splashy Spanish, and the flashy Neapolitan—set the stage for what is presumed to be a royal engagement. Gregory Gonzales' embodiment of the evil Baron Von Rothbart is a treat, especially during the Halloween season. The sets and costumes courtesy of Ballet West, as well as the scenic and costume designs by Peter Cazelet, and the additional costumes by the Colorado Ballet, are lush.

Adam Flatt and the Colorado Ballet Orchestra deliver a warm and potent rendition of Tchaikovsky's famous score.

The Colorado Ballet's presentation of Swan Lake runs through October 23rd. For tickets: http://tickets.coloradoballet.org.

Bob Bows



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