Butler University Dance Department Presents Swan Lake

Butler University’s Dance Department is known throughout the United States as one of the premier dance training institutes for promising young dancers. Their biannual ballets are a testament to the level of skill, discipline and dedication that Butler Ballet demands from its Indianapolis kids. This weekend, the Butler University Dance Department presents Swan Lake to Indianapolis arts, April 16 to 18 at Clowes Memorial Hall. This Indianapolis performing art event will conclude Butler Ballet’s 2009-2010 season. Presented in collaboration with the Butler Symphony Orchestra, Swan Lake promises to be a delicate and riveting dance performance.

As the best Indianapolis dance school, Butler Ballet holds itself, and its dancers, to an incredibly high standard. This year’s production of Swan Lake is Butler Ballet’s first since 2005. Revisiting this timeless ballet, with music from the revered Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Butler Ballet delves into the beauty of such a simple, yet powerful story told through movement.

Swan Lake is a ballet in four acts, which tells the story of Odette, a princess who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s (Von Rothbart’s) curse. She is a swan by day, and can only regain her human form under the moon’s gleam. She is force to live by a lake, which was magically formed by her grieving mother’s tears, when Rothbart first kidnapped Odette. The only way his evil spell can be broken is, you guessed it, through the true love of a young man who will remain faithful to her forever. The perfect beginnings for a fairytale story.

Though Prince Siegfried pledges his eternal love to Odette, he is tricked into declaring his love for Odile, and evil look alike created by Rothbart. Rothbart and the Prince battle over the Princess’s fate. The story’s origin is a key point of debate among scholars, who argue between its Russian and German beginnings.

Tchaikovsky composed Swan Lake in 1875 and 1876. Julius Reisinger choreographed the original production, which premieres at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia in 1877. Its first performance in America was in 1940 by the San Francisco Ballet. More than one hundred years later, the ballet has retained its classicism, seeing thousands of performances around the world. It is second only to The Nutcracker as the most well known ballet in history.

Butler Ballet’s production will feature a new set, originally used by the London Festival Ballet and donated to Butler by Karl Kaufman,a  former Butler student, current professor in Butler’s Dance Department and frequent set and costume designer for the program. Department chair Michelle Jarvis explains, “The set is quite historical. We don’t exactly know when it was painted, probably in the ’60s. Karl has done a lot of work to restore and renovate the set. This is the first time the set will be seen in public in a  long time. I don’t know when the set was used last, but for us, it’s brand new.”

Don’t miss this exciting and elegant Indianapolis theatre event. Performances are at 8:00 pm Friday and Saturday and 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 18. Tickets range from $21.50 to $28.50 for adults, $17.00 to $23.00 for kids, students and seniors.

Before the performance grab dinner at any of the Indianapolis restaurants in the nearby Indianapolis cultural district, Broad Ripple Village. After the show, compare Swan Lake to fairy tales from your childhood over drinks at any of these refreshing Indianapolis bars.

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Swan Lake
April 16 to 18

Butler University
Clowes Memorial Hall
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208