TULSA, Okla. –     February 24, 2017 – After six years, Tulsa Ballet is proud to present the return of the quintessential 19th century classical masterpiece Swan Lake. In this classic story, Odette, a young maiden trapped in the form of a swan due to an evil sorcerer’s curse, must find eternal love to break the spell. This lavish production, set to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, features scenery and costumes originally created for Houston Ballet by Tony Award-winning designer Desmond Heeley. With the timeless Corps de Ballet bevy of swans choreography, accompanied by live music from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, this iconic ballet returns to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in celebration of Tulsa Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Season. 

The first successful staging of the work premiered in 1895, two years after the death of Tchaikovsky, its success due to the new choreography by the fathers of classical ballet: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Unfortunately, only the legendary Act Two remains of the original production, which means Artistic Director Marcello Angelini had to undertake re-staging the classic by re-choreographing three out of the four acts for Swan Lake. Of the enormous task he says, “The challenge is to stay true to the choreographic architecture that Petipa and Ivanov devised for their production, as well as to adhere to the stylistic aesthetics of the original choreography.  The reason I decided, back in 1998, to re-choreograph the work myself is that I had the privilege of dancing many productions of this work in my past life as a dancer, including Andre Prokovsky’s production and Ivan Nagy’s rendering of this work.  Having danced over 80 performances of this classic gave me a good idea of what belongs in the ballet.”

While Angelini’s goal was to keep the ballet classical, many edits were made including reducing the overall runtime from four hours to just two and half. He meticulously went through the score and various vignettes to edit all of the pieces out that were not instrumental in telling the core story. He also expanded the figure of Rothbart, the evil magician, as the alter ego of the Prince. In Tulsa Ballet’s version of Swan Lake, Rothbart represents the dark side of the Prince’s personality. The audience will see the internal struggle of Prince Siegfried, which is finally resolved when he is able to face and accept his challenges. The swans lose their feathers, become beautiful young maidens and love is restored.

Ballet aficionados will be able to appreciate the quality of the dancing and the subtleties of the choreography. Marcello says, “Swan Lake is one of the most difficult classical ballets ever and is really the measuring yard of any ballerina, principal male dancer and for the company as a whole.  It’s dancing down to its fundamentals. It’s the kind of dancing through which you can’t lie:  you either are or you are not!  The quality of a classical ballet company is measured by the technical competence, stylistic competency and artistic talent.  With Swan Lake, there is nowhere to hide.” However, with magnificent sets and costumes, beautiful music, and a story that is easy to follow, Swan Lake remains a treasure for all audiences alike. Marcello says, “It’s the classic of the classics. It’s a ballet everyone can enjoy, from children, to parents, to grandparents. It’s the perfect opportunity for the entire family to see a ballet performance.”


Tulsa Ballet’s Swan Lake




Marcello Angelini

Costume Design:

Desmond Heeley


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Performed live by Tulsa Symphony Orchestra

Peter Stafford Wilson, Principal Conductor



Friday March 24 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday March 25 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday March 26 at 3:00 p.m.



Call (918) 749–6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org.

Tickets to Swan Lake start at $25.

4-Show packages to Tulsa Ballet’s 2017/18 Season shows begin

at only $97 and include invites to special subscriber-only events.

Pre-Performance Discussion:

Enhance your experience. Pre-performance discussions are held in the Westby Pavilion on the Promenade level 30 minutes prior to curtain. Discussions are led by Tulsa Ballet artistic staff and visiting artists, and topics may include the choreography, musical score, costuming, or other subjects related to the performance. Pre-performance discussions are free and all ticket holders are invited to attend.

For more info on our 60th Anniversary Season visit www.tulsaballet.org.

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, PR & Communications Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org