PITTSBURGH, PA: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Premieres Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s “Swan Lake” with the PBT Orchestra
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Premieres Artistic Director Susan Jaffe’s “Swan Lake” with the PBT Orchestra
PBT’s 21-22 season culminates in a new production of the classic ballet with original staging by Susan Jaffe
PITTSBURGH, PA (April 4, 2022) – Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre invites audiences to fall under the spell of the enduring love story Swan Lake, running May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center. With new staging by Artistic Director Susan Jaffe and an iconic Tchaikovsky score performed by the PBT Orchestra, audiences will be enchanted by this timeless tale of love and betrayal.
Swan Lake tells the story of the beautiful princess Odette, cursed by the evil wizard Von Rothbart to live as a swan by day, only able to assume her human guise in the hours of darkness. When the young Prince Siegfried witnesses her transformation from a swan into a beautiful maiden, he discovers that the spell can only be broken if her true love swears his love and faithfulness to her. However, the wicked Von Rothbart and his daughter Odile have other plans up their sleeves. Classical precision, superb storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s evocative score collide to create one of ballet’s most iconic works of art.
Debuting in this new production is original choreography from Artistic Director Susan Jaffe, a seasoned and celebrated Swan Queen herself. Ms. Jaffe first danced the role of Odette-Odile for American Ballet Theatre at the age of 19 and gave a performance that The New York Times called, “a beautiful triumph.” She danced the role every year of her 22-year illustrious career, including international performances.
“I am incredibly exhilarated to present my version of Swan Lake this May,” Ms. Jaffe says. “What I love so much about Swan Lake is that it is the ultimate test of a ballerina’s powers, not only in character but in physicality. The dancer playing Odette-Odile must portray a wide emotional scope — from the softness and vulnerability of Odette to the attack of Odile, a femme fatale.”
Though the storyline remains traditional, Ms. Jaffe says the choreography, which she created after the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, will be her own rendition of the ballet. “There are many endings to Swan Lake — mine is one of tragedy and redemption all at the same time, because life is a dichotomy,” says Ms. Jaffe.
The PBT Orchestra returns for Swan Lake, bringing Tchaikovsky’s moving score to life. From the breathtaking dancers and swelling music to incredible sets, stunning effects and more than 100 handmade costumes, this production is an immersive experience that will captivate the audience’s imagination.
Effective April 4, 2022, the Benedum Center will no longer require vaccination or masking for the audience or staff. In addition, audience members will be permitted to consume food and drinks in the auditoriums. For more information, visit trustarts.org/welcome.
Single tickets start at $29 and are available at pbt.org or 412-456-6666. Groups of 10 or more save up to 50% at pbt.org/groups. Swan Lake runs May 6 – 15 at the Benedum Center. Find a full list of performance times and purchase tickets at pbt.org/swan-lake.
Audience members are invited to join PBT online and at the theater for a series of pre- and post-show programs for even deeper engagement. Programs include a Dance the Story program for children, post-show Q&A with PBT dancers, conversation with Artistic Director Susan Jaffe about her new staging of this iconic ballet and more. Find a full list of programs and register at pbt.org/swan-lake.
About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has been Pittsburgh’s premier professional ballet company since 1969. Today, PBT is a nationally recognized ballet company of 30 professional dancers, a training institution for over 1,200 students of all ages, and an incubator for education and accessibility programs in classrooms, libraries and community centers throughout the region. The company performs a wide-ranging repertoire of classical ballets, contemporary masterworks and new commissions in more than 50 performances annually at home and on tour.
Artist: Marisa Grywalski | Photo by: Duane Rieder
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