In the world of the arts, steeped and rooted as they are in tradition, it can often be hard to breathe new energy and life into timeworn productions of classics like Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet Swan Lake.
Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute decided that perhaps the best way to approach the problem would be through a true collaboration aimed at conceiving and producing a vibrant new take on the 19th-century work. For this invigorating venture, he turned to his very capable artistic staff, including the Ballet Master/ Director of Ballet West II, Mark Goldweber, and Principal Ballet Mistress Pamela Robinson- Harris, to restage the ballet’s various acts.
While wishing to remain true to the original, Sklute simultaneously wanted to allow for space to explore different staging, and a freedom even to enhance the masterpiece with bits of new choreography. Following that vein, he also opened the door for the principal artists to weigh in and have their say in the new creation. The end collaborative result is a truly original, fresh and innovative production of what has proved to be an arts staple.
“Swan Lake is a classic—like a Shakespeare play is a classic—and it can be staged in a variety of different ways,” says Sklute. “But the finished product will always include the gorgeous Tchaikovsky music, the choreographic framework of Petipa and Ivanov and a story that is as immortal as the love between Odette and Siegfried.”