From Russia With Feathers
With Tchaikovsky's haunting, luminous music, Swan Lake is arguably the world's best known ballet. It is also one that choreographers (and filmmakers) just can't keep their mitts off. Although most reinterpretations respectfully leave intact Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov's 1895 choreography for the White Swan in Act II and the Black Swan pas de deux in Act III, the now-iconic choreography was not original but replaced the original choreography from the original 1877 flop, which disappeared after only a few performances. Generations of ballet fans can thank Petipa and Ivanov for their meddling, since the 1895 production's success launchedÊSwan Lake's enduring popularity and its resilience through a century of choreographic revivals and reworkings. The Bolshoi Ballet's visit brings its 1969 version from former artistic director Yuri Grigorovich, a version much more focused on the prince's existential angst than the White Swan/Black Swan that is (are?) the object of his desires. Bolshoi loosely translates as mighty and, despite financial turmoil and internal kerfuffles, including the hiring of American dancer David Hallberg, this is a mighty company of amazing dancers well worth fighting traffic and parking to see. Also, the 1877 Swan Lake that bombed premiered at the Bolshoi, while the main rival ballet company in St. Petersburg produced and gets credit for the 1895 Petipa-Ivanov success. Grigorovich may have seen this as a chance for the Bolshoi to reassert its ownership of Swan Lake. Did he succeed? See for yourself. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., June 7-9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., June 9-10, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. (213) 972-0711, musiccenter.org/events/dance112bolshoi.html.
June 7-9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 9, 2 p.m.; Sun., June 10, 2 p.m., 2012
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