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  • Pamela Froman

Russian Grand Ballet Presents Swan Lake


Ballet is a stunning form of dance that tugs at the heartstrings and astounds with the beauty of movement. The Russian Grand Ballet is presenting the full-length classical production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. This is the third time the Russian Grand Ballet has performed in Southern California and the tour includes shows in San Diego, Escondido, Riverside, Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles, Poway and Glendale.

Swan Lake is the story of Odette, a beautiful princess, who falls under the spell of an evil sorcerer. Only Prince Siegfried's devotion can save her. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is full of romance and tragedy, in a magical setting. The incredible score and timeless choreography have enchanted audiences for over a century, and continue to inspire. This production will for the first time include the rarely seen Waltz of Black Swans.

Russian Grand Ballet features Russia's brightest ballet stars. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Constantine Pinchuk and award-winning Ballet Master Andrey Litvinov, the company has expanded to include a corps de ballet of over fifty dancers, joined each year by renowned guest artists dancing principle roles. The troupe is from all over the world - Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Moldova, Japan, and Germany.

“Everyone can recall the Swan Lake theme and the Little Swans dance theme. It is a beautiful fairy tale, also full of technical and dramatic challenges,” says Artistic Director Constantine Pinchuk. “It's been said that dancing the lead in Swan Lake is like climbing Mount Everest or playing Hamlet. The principal dances two roles – the black swan and the white swan – and both birds change from swan to human, fall in love and get tricked and jilted, not to mention the duets and solos. At one point, the Swan Queen performs 32 fouettes. Swan Lake is a masterpiece of classical ballet and in my personal opinion it should be experienced at least once in one’s lifetime.”

Olga Kifyak is the Prima ballerina who dances the part of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake. She began dancing at the age of twelve. Olga's professional career began at the prestigious Ukrainian National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, which she was invited to join in 2001 immediately upon graduation from the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Kiev. In addition to receiving the top honor at the First International Yuri Grigorovich Ballet Competition, Olga has earned medals in international competition in Rome and Vienna. In 2012, after just over ten years of professional dancing, Olga was named Honored Artist of Ukraine.

“Swan Lake is a very difficult ballet to dance,” explains Olga. “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 lighter it looks, more substantial power it takes. And then in Act Three Odile comes into picture. She is a mean character – insidious, sarcastic, reaching for her goal. The quick change between the two is very fast, too.”

Olga will be dancing with Evgeny Svetlitsa. Evgeniy studied at the Russian Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, and joined the historic Mikhailovsky Theatre where he performed classical repertoire as a soloist until 2005, when he was invited to become a principal dancer with Russian Grand Ballet Theatre. Since 2006, Eveniy has been part of the Stars of the World Ballet project. He has been honored by the International Ballet Contest of Perm and is a laureate of the V. Pisarev award. His repertoire includes lead roles in Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Giselle, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Spartacus, Romeo and Juliette, Paquita, Chopiniana, Lileya, Cinderella, and Coppelia.

Swan Lake is timeless and Olga loves playing the two opposing lead roles in the production. The audience will have an amazing experience, immersing themselves into the story and living through it via dance. “That is the most important part for me – to have the audience leave the theatre at the end of the show in a great mood,” says Olga. “It is my favorite thing to do – bring joy to other people. It is my passion, my hobby, my life – everything.”

For dates and showtimes of Swan Lake, log onto www.RussianGrandBallet.com

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