Evergreen City Ballet presents story of true love, ‘Swan Lake’

The Evergreen City Ballet is presenting “Swan Lake” this weekend that should leave audiences saddened or uplifted over the fate of the two lovers at the heart of the ballet.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2008 12:00am
  • News

Erika Klein of Tacoma

The Evergreen City Ballet is presenting “Swan Lake” this weekend that should leave audiences saddened or uplifted over the fate of the two lovers at the heart of the ballet.

Different ballet companies have chosen different paths to tell the story’s ending.

When asked what path he chose, Evergreen City Ballet’s new artistic director, Kevin Kaiser, demurred.

“I don’t know if I should tell you that,” he said. “That is sort of like giving the end of the movie away.”

Is he a romantic or a realist? “I am a romantic,” he answered. But, that’s not the point, either.

What’s important, he said, is that the members of the audience go away, having created their own feelings about the smitten Prince Siegfried and the cursed Princess Odette, who at night transforms from swan to woman.

Tchaikovsky’s famed ballet is set in Europe. Prince Siegfried is under some pressure. It’s his birthday banquet and he’s supposed to announce his choice for a bride. Love doesn’t come into play in his decision.

Upset, he heads into the forest with his crossbow. He comes across a flock of swans and readies to fire. Then, he sees Odette. They dance and he falls hard. He learns that the evil sorcerer, von Rothbart, has used his magic to turn her into this swan-woman.

Siegfried figures he’ll solve everything by killing von Rothbart. But, if von Rothbart dies before the spell is broken, Odette will never take human form again.

Siegfried returns to the castle, where von Rothbart has turned his own daughter, Odile, into the perfect likeness of Odette. Only Odile is dressed in black. Thinking Odile is Odette, Siegfried tells all his intent to marry her. Too late, he discovers the truth.

This is where endings have differed. In one version, Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in the lake. As a result, von Rothbart loses his power and dies. In another ending, Odette remains a swan, leaving Siegfried bereft. And in another the love shared by Siegfried and Odette defeats von Rothbart and they live together happily as man and woman.

The Evergreen City Ballet will present this story of true love this weekend at the IKEA Performing Arts Center at Renton High School.

Audiences, Kaiser said, “are going to see a very high level of performance.”

The corps will dance to live music performed by the Evergreen City Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of Barney Blough, which features many local musicians.

It’s a “wonderful opportunity” for the dancers to dance to live music, Kaiser said.

Prince Siegfried is danced by Joel Myers, who attended the Evergreen City Ballet School, and as a professional, now dances for the Spectrum Dance Theater.

Rachel Smith and Erika Klein will dance as Odette during different performances. They also attended the school and are now part of the Evergreen City Ballet Company.

Jerome Tso and Daniel Wilkins take on the role of the evil von Rothbart.

With 16 swans dancing all at once, the production calls for a high degree of precision, Kaiser said.

He said he believe the audiences will be impressed with the level of performance achieved by his dancers, who range in age from 14 to 22.

The costumes are done by volunteers, mostly by parents. Many have taken classes in order to make professional-quality tutus. A volunteer also is making the cape that von Rothbart wears.

Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at dean.radford@rentonreporter.com.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Vote election badge. File photo
5th District results: Ramos leads House race; Anderson edging Mullett for state Senate

Early results have been reported in the 5th Legislative District races from… Continue reading

In the LaCrosse neighborhood in upper Kennydale, the process to get a 20 mph speed limit is almost complete. Haley Ausbun/Staff photo.
Renton neighborhood closing in on long-awaited 20 mph speed limit

The LaCrosse neighborhood’s request for a lower speed limit has faced delays due to COVID-19

King County Election headquarters in Renton, on primary Election Day, Aug. 4. Voters can return their ballot and register in-person at the election headquarters and other voting centers by 8 p.m. Haley Ausbun/Staff photo.
There’s still time to vote in the August primary

Turn in your ballot at any voting center by 8 p.m.

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

The Quendall Terminals site is fenced off and signage warns folks from approaching. But property owners and EPA want to clean it up and making it livable, shopable, enjoyable Lake Washington waterfront property. Staff photo 2019/Haley Ausbun
EPA takes big step towards Quendall Terminals cleanup

The contaminated site is one of the largest undeveloped portions of Lake Washington waterfront

file photo
Two shot near Renton KFC

One has non-life threatening injuries, the other is in critical but stable condition

Most Read