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Pennsylvania Ballet’s 'Swan Lake' Dazzles Philadelphia Audiences

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This beautiful, poignant love story has it all: happiness, betrayal,PHOTO: Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake by Paul Kolnik. loyalty, friendship, sorcery and best of all, the most beautiful dancing ever to the grace the Philly stage.

If you saw Black Swan, you have a little bit of background on the ballet. In the principal dancer’s mind, the fairy tale of a beautiful white swan and a handsome Prince fall in love, and must break the spell the sorcerer Von Rothbart casts over them to truly have love conquer all.

As fantasy and reality blend and overlap, the audience is taken into a wonderful world where the gorgeous swans dance their strong and heartfelt love of their Swan Queen, Odette. Like the movie, we are unsure of what we are seeing as the woebegone Prince madly searches out his love, only to be thwarted at every turn.

As art imitates true life, Pennsylvania Ballet dancers  went from stage to screen in the Academy Award-nominated film “Black Swan” starring Academy-Award Winner Natalie Portman  and directed by Golden Globe nominee Darren Aronofsky. The dancers brought their amazing skills and talents back to the stage at the Academy of Music  to delight the Philadelphia audiences live.

Told in four acts, we see the tortuous love of the Prince as he searches for his one true love, only to be betrayed by the evil Odile at the Gala Dinner. This was my favorite scene, as all the dancers gather for a celebration to toast their production of Swan Lake, dancing several styles, including a Can-Can, a Russian dance, a Spanish Dance, and a Pas de Quatre. Meanwhile, the dazed Prince looks for Odette, and things come to a crashing conclusion. Will the Prince ever find his love Odette?

The dazzling choreography of the company brought the audience to their feet, as Principal dancers Lauren Fadeley, Zachary Hench and company weave us into Swan Lake odyssey. Meredith Rainey’s creepy Von Rothbart was especially compelling as he draws the lovers into his lair and controls the swan maidens. Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon (after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov), with music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The sets and customers were gorgeous, as the production features spectacular sets and costumes set in the 19th-century milieu of the Paris Opera Ballet of Edgar Degas.

This beautiful story will bring tears to your eyes as the Philadelphia Ballet tells their best story yet- of Swan Lake.

Swan Lake performances at the Academy of Music are Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now, with prices ranging from $20 to $139. Tickets are available online at paballet.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, or in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Groups of 10 or more receive great discounts and perks through Group Sales Manager Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or abackman@paballet.org

For more information, visit paballet.org or call 215.551.7000

Special thanks to Marissa Montenegro, Public Relations Manager of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

PHOTO: Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake by Paul Kolnik.

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Christine Tarlecki can be reached at engchik@gmail.com and on FaceBook, as well as on Twitter under engchik.