“The music we all know so well
danced by a cast who are on top of the world”*
Carolina Ballet opens the 2009-2010 season with the reprise of Robert Weiss’ Swan Lake to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. The ballet was a triumph when it premiered in May 2005 and again when it made a seven-city tour to the People’s Republic of China in fall 2006. Carolina Ballet’s Swan Lake will be presented at the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts September 17-October 4, 2009.
The schedule of performances is as follows:
Thursday, September 17 at 8:00pm
Friday, September 18 at 8:00pm
Saturdays, September 19 & 26; October 3 at 2:00 & 8:00pm
Sundays, September 20 & 27; October 4 at 2:00pm
Robert Weiss created a new Swan Lake on his company for Triangle audiences after he discovered a beautifully illustrated children’s book written and illustrated by Viennese artist Lisbeth Zwerger. The book tells a slightly different version of the traditional Swan Lake that allowed Weiss to create the ballet on a smaller company. Robert Weiss and Carolina Ballet received permission from Ms. Zwerger to use the illustrations from her Swan Lake as the basis of the designs for the scenery and costume elements of his new work. “I was very excited about taking this project on,” says Weiss, “but at the same time I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit that it was somewhat daunting. After all, this is one of the most famous ballet scores ever written.” The ballet was an instant success, with sold out performances over its opening weekend in 2005; critics from the New York Times and the London Financial Times traveled to Raleigh to review it; and Dance Magazine wrote that it was “an emotionally rich production performed with joy by skilled dancers.”
Robert Weiss called upon the talents of several designers that he had used previously to bring Ms. Zwerger’s beautiful illustrations to life on the stage. The costumes were adapted and designed by David Heuvel, Costume Production Director at Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. Heuvel (now Carolina Ballet’s principal guest costume designer) also designed and built the costumes for Carolina Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, and he coordinated the five costume shops that built the costumes for Nutcracker in 2001. Resident designer Jeff AR Jones, recognized for his scenery designs for The Kreutzer Sonata, Firebird and Nutcracker, as well as many other Carolina Ballet productions, designed the scenery for Swan Lake. The lighting is designed by Ross Kolman.
There have been many versions of Swan Lake over the years but Robert Weiss feels that this production is particularly significant in that other smaller sized companies will have an opportunity to present Swan Lake with their dancers. He explains that George Balanchine (founder and artistic director of New York City Ballet) always said “if you name every ballet Swan Lake people will come.” The Classical Voice of North Carolina said “Weiss has staged a magical new Swan Lake, replete with beautiful dances, which should take its place in the repertories of contemporary ballet companies around the country.”
For ticket information, please call the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or Ticketmaster at 919 982-2787.
Ticket prices range from $63-18 and $10 student rush tickets, with valid student ID, are available one half hour before the performance.
Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken its place among America’s premier arts organizations. Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. This twelfth season represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.
*Francis Mason, “The World of Dance” – WQXR-FM