Colorado Ballet

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Choreographer: Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Additional Choreography by Amanda McKerrow, John Gardner and Sandra Brown (2008, 2011, 2016)
Staged by S. Kozadayev, Z. Dubrovskaya (1995, 2001)
Staged by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner (2008)
Staged by Sandra Brown and Lorita Travaglia (2016)
Composer: P.I. Tchaikovsky
Years performed: 2016

Maria Mosina, Alexei Tyukov and Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson 

Total run time: 2 hours and 35 minutes (includes two - 20 minute intermissions)


Scene I – The Courtyard
Prince Siegfried’s 21st birthday is being celebrated in festive splendor. The entire court is eager to pay homage to their beloved king-to-be. His mother, the Queen, arrives with the gift of a crossbow and reminds him that he must choose a bride at the palace ball the following day. She and her entourage return to the palace and the festivities continue. As the celebration draws to a close the courtiers depart, leaving Siegfried under a cloud of melancholy, as there is no one he truly loves.  Seeing this, his good friend Benno attempts to lift his spirits by suggesting a swan hunt in the surrounding forest. Siegfried welcomes the distraction and the two set out with a hunting party.

Scene II – Lakeside
The forest lake with its shores, is the kingdom of Baron Von Rothbart, who rules over Odette and her followers in the form of a bird of prey. Upon arrival, Prince Siegfried sends Benno and the hunting party in search of swans. Suddenly, a swan approaches and Siegfried watches in amazement as it is transformed into a beautiful maiden. She is Queen Odette. She and her companions have been turned into swans by Von Rothbart and only at night can they return to human form. Odette’s enchantment can be broken only if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love. When Von Rothbart appears Prince Siegfried attempts to shoot him, but Odette intercedes, explaining that if the magician dies, the spell can never be broken. As dawn approaches, Prince Siegfried declares his love for Odette and swears to be true for eternity. Odette and her companions return to the lake and resume their guise as swans.

The Castle Ballroom
At the palace ball, Prince Siegfried and the court are entertained by national dances from neighboring countries. Following these, the Prince dances with the four beautiful princesses from whom he will choose his bride. As he comes to the realization that none are suitable, a fanfare announces the arrival of two uninvited guests; they are Von Rothbart disguised as an ambassador, and his daughter Odile, whom the sorcerer has transformed to look like Odette. The Prince is taken in by the unknown visitor’s startling resemblance to Odette and believes her to be the Swan Queen. While Odile and the Prince dance together, a vision of Odette appears, beseeching Siegfried to remember his vow, but his attention is distracted by the magician’s spell. Infatuated, Siegfried asks for Odile’s hand in marriage.  Von Rothbart makes him swear his love for her and as Siegfried does so, Odette appears at the window. It is too late as he has pledged his vow to another. The court is thrown into chaos and, in despair, the Prince rushes out in search of Odette.

Odette returns to her swan maidens, distraught and wishing to drown herself in the waters of the lake while still in human form. Realizing that Siegfried is following Odette, Von Rothbart creates a storm in a vain attempt to stop him. Siegfried arrives and begs Odette’s forgiveness. Sadly, she tells him that she forgives him, but nothing can now change that his vow is broken. Von Rothbart returns and a tug of war over Odette ensues. She realizes her only escape lies in the depth of the lake. After a final embrace with Siegfried, she throws herself into the water.  Siegfried, not wanting to live without her immediately follows. The power of their love and sacrifice weakens Von Rothbart’s hold over the maidens and, for the first time, they are able to repel his commands. He is driven to his death by their final and united defiance. As dawn approaches, the swan maidens find themselves freed from Von Rothbarth’s evil spell, and rejoice in seeing Odette and Siegfried united in the light of eternal love.


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