It is THE classic ballet. Just take it from Ballet West’s Artist Director Adam Sklute. “Swan Lake is truly one of the greatest ballets of all time. It was also the first grand scale classic I chose to produce myself, so it is very close to my heart. Working closely with Ballet West Principal Ballet Master Pamela Robinson-Harris and our late Ballet Master Mark Goldweber, my goal was to bring out the deep and intimate heart and soul of this supreme piece of theater while maintaining the grandeur and pageantry that are a hallmark of the 19th century story ballets.”

Swan Lake is the classic story of the battle between good and evil. Not only a fairy tale but a gothic thriller. Between the beauty of the dancer’s arms mimicking a swan’s grace to the extremely difficult leaps, turns and, of course, the famous 32 fouettes of Act 2. If you have ever seen Swan Lake, you know that the audience counts as the ballerina executes this feat. It is a nonstop evening full of  beauty and intrigue. “With more than 60 dancers, and a full 50-piece orchestra, this ballet is as opulent as it is beautiful and perfect for aficionados and newcomers alike,” Sklute says.

It is hard to go wrong with music by Tchaikovsky. Ballet West’s Orchestra under the direction of Jared Oaks does an outstanding job. The perfect background for the dance performance.

The performance will also mark the occasion of Ballet West’s Christopher Rudd’s retirement. After 21 years, Rudd will hang up his shoes at end of the season.

swan lake
Christopher Ruud

“Christopher Rudd has had an incredible legacy with Ballet West,” said Sklute. “His mother danced with the company, and his father, Tomm Ruud was one of the first dancers under Mr. Willam Christensen. Christopher’s career is remarkable. He’s been an incomparable partner to all his ballerinas, a great dancer on his own, a powerful actor, and one of my finest artists. I will miss him, and I know our patrons will miss him, but I am excited for the next chapter of his life.”

 

I agree with Sklute. Rudd has been a wonderful ambassador for Ballet West and was always so good.  He was the ideal partner for various dancers he danced with over the years. Confidentially, my friend that I have attended the ballet with for several years has always had a crush on him. Mark your calendars as Christopher takes on the role of Siegfried Friday February 22 and Saturday February 23rd at 7:30 pm.

In conjunction with Swan Lake Ballet West offers Warm Ups before each performance. These fun and informative discussions with members of the artistic staff are free of charge to ticket holders and begin promptly one-hour prior to each performanceAttendees will get insider information on the evening’s program including background on the ballet, information on the choreographer, and other interesting behind-the-scenes facts. At Warm Ups, members of the Ballet West artistic staff are available to answer any questions that audience members may have.

Opening night for Swan Lake is February 8 and runs until February 23 for 11 performances. Tickets start at $24 and are available at www.balletwest.org or by calling the Ballet West ticket offices (801) 869-6900.

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