Russian Ballet Theatre Brings New Production of Swan Lake to NJ and PA this February

Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo by Amal Khalikov

Russian Ballet Theatre announces a breathtaking new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake that will travel to 52 cities across the United States, with four local stops in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ballet fans will have the unique opportunity to enjoy this update on a classic, with dates set for:

Sunday, February 13th in Newark at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Tuesday, February 15th in Trenton at the Patriots Theatre at the War Memorial
Wednesday, February 16th in Sewell, South Jersey at Investors Bank Performing Arts Center
Thursday, February 17th in Reading at the Santander Performing Arts Center.

All tickets are on sale night for the one-night only performance in each city. Tickets can be purchased online at www.russianballettheatre.com/tickets. For group sales inquiries, email Co-Producer Gulya Hartwick at hartwick@russianballettheatre.com.

Russian Ballet Theatre is thrilled to hit the road and tour with Swan Lake for the first time since 2019.  Swan Lake is presented by Co-Producers Sasha Gorskaya and Gulya Hartwick. The production team includes Choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina, Production Designer Sergey Novikov, SFX Makeup Designer Irina Strukova, and Principal Ballet Mistress Tatyana Linnik.  Prima Ballerina Olga Kifyak will dance the lead roles of Odette (The White Swan) and Odile (The Black Swan) – a unique and bold casting choice for the American 2022 tour. The cast also includes the amazing talents of Evgeny Svetlitsa as Prince Siegfried, Mikhail Ovcharov as Jester, Vasili Bogdan as Rothbart.

In Swan Lake, one of Tchaikovsky’s most ravishing scores is paired with an enchanted love story inspired by Russian and German folk tales. On his 21st birthday, Prince Siegfried is told he must marry from an array of princesses selected for him. Upset that he is not being allowed to marry for love, Siegfried escapes into the night where he spies and becomes smitten with the beautiful swan princess Odette. Will the two be able to break the curse that has made her a swan or will the conniving sorcerer Rothbart thwart their plans to be together forever?

Russian Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake is replete with the visual splendor and virtuoso dancing global audiences have come to expect from classical Russian dance. The 2022 tour delights by pairing time-honored Russian traditions with some delightful new inspirations.  

“Although we are telling the classic story of Swan Lake, there are tweaks here and there that make the show new and exciting,” said co-producer Gulya Hartwick. “We have all new choreography. Usually there is one jester, we have five of them. We did what we could to make the production more lively and more colorful.”

Choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina (Mariinsky Theatre, Teatro Lirico, Omsk State Music Theatre) has lovingly retouched the oldest St. Petersburg version of the ballet, adding her vision – and something more – that will undoubtedly leave audiences flushed with emotion. With a new prologue, she offers an explanation for the wrath of evil sorcerer Rothbart, undoubtedly leaving the audience ready to dive into the action and beauty of the piece.

RBT’s international ballet corps will draw talent from ten different countries for this new tour. The dancers will bring Kalinina’s choreography to life along with new exquisite hand-painted sets and 150 new hand-sewn costumes, all designed by the young, accomplished Sergei Novikov (Mariinsky Theatre, Omsk State Music Theatre, St. Petersburg State Music Hall) in the century-old tradition of the great theatrical masters.

Award-winner Irina Strukova’s grand artistry will give a magical touch to this already magnificent production. Known for her film makeup creations (Netflix, HBO, Crazy Rich Asians), Strukova has created hair designs and special effects makeup that, together with the dazzling costumes, further enlighten this whimsical and glittering fantasy.

Prima Ballerina Olga Kifyak will dance the lead roles of Odette (The White Swan) and Odile (The Black Swan). This is a major feat as many productions feature two dancers playing the two roles. Kifyak said, “Swan Lake is a challenging ballet to dance. I dance two roles, opponent to each other. In act one, you see gentle Odette – the purity, modesty, perfection. So, the dance has to look light and effortless, but that takes a lot – the more delicate it seems, the more substantial power it takes. And then, in Act 3 – Odile comes into the picture. She is a mean character – insidious, sarcastic, reaching for her goal.”

She continued, “Almost all theatres have two different dancers playing Odette/Odile. I like dancing in both of these roles. It is fascinating to have an opportunity to be two completely different characters. The acting part is crucial. The audience must believe you; there can’t be any movement, mimics, or facial expression flaws of the character.”

The talented cast also include leads Evgeny Svetlitsa as Prince Siegfried, Mikhail Ovcharov as Jester, and Vasili Bogdan as Rothbart. Full cast information and bios are available here: www.russianballettheatre.com/cast/

Tickets for performances listed below are available at www.russianballettheatre.com/tickets and also by visiting Ticketmaster. All venues offer onsite or nearby parking. All venues are accessible by public transportation.

For more information visit Russian Ballet Theatre’s official website, at www.russianballettheatre.com

ABOUT RUSSIAN BALLET THEATRE
Russian Ballet Theatre is a ballet company established to present people with the opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of classical Russian ballet in their hometowns.

Founded in 2015, the RBT team shares a passion for enriching Russian ballet traditions through brilliant and critically acclaimed new productions of the world classics.

RBT has had the honor of successfully performing for large audiences, across the United States, in cities that include New York, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, and Baltimore to name a few.

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