Entertain Me: Oregon Ballet Theater’s ‘Swan Lake’ is a Captivating Drama

By Jenna Rossiter | February 20, 2017 11:37pm

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Photo by James McGrew via Oregon Ballet Theater 

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake, a ballet in three acts, premiered at the Keller Auditorium.

With only a few seats empty, the packed auditorium came to a standstill and only the classical music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and clicks of pointe shoes could be heard. Fingers tapped to the melody of the music and eyes stayed glued on the stage, only lifting with the heightened leaps of the dancers.

Act I introduced us to our principal player Siegfried, the young prince played by Peter Franc. Franc gave the audience a refreshing principal, as this is his first season as a principal dancer with the OBT. The height in his jumps and length in his leaps kept the audience applauding and chanting, “Bravo!” throughout Act I.

In the story of Swan Lake, young Siegfried’s father the King, played by Colby Parsons, becomes ill and creates a magical illusion for Siegfried featuring a young princess, since he is to meet a young woman who will become the Queen.

Princess Odette, played by Xuan Cheng, is cursed with an enchantment that leaves her vulnerable, but Cheng is anything but vulnerable. Cheng, as well as her fellow swan princesses, ensure the eyes of the audience are stuck on the stage with the lightness of each movement, as each arm gracefully flutters like a wing of a true swan.

Siegfried falls in love with Odette, only for her to quickly run away after their first dance. The illusion ended and Siegfried came out of his dreamscape.

Act II came at a perfect time—the illusion of the princess created by the King is over, and it is time for young Siegfried to meet eligible women to be his future Queen, since the King’s days are also coming to an end.

The eligible princesses and ladies humored the audience with their hilarious attempt at impressing the prince. Some dancers purposefully fell flat on the stage with their pointe shoes sliding out from underneath them, successfully lifting the audience’s spirits.

The humor came to a halt in Act III as did a principal player’s life. The mystery continues, as King Siegfried wonders if the enchantment on his dream princess Odette will be lifted. By this time in the night, however, there is no mystery as to the beauty of this dramatic ballet.

To see for yourself and find out what happens between this illusional princess and young Siegfried, head to the Keller Auditorium Thursday, Feb. 23, through Saturday, Feb. 25 for your final chance to catch the beautiful drama.

Contact reporter Jenna Rossiter at rossiter20@up.edu.
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