Two hopeful characters crossed paths unconventionally in a world condemned by the dark magic of a vicious sorcerer.
The Boston Ballet presented a spellbinding adaptation of the world renowned “Swan Lake” on Friday’s opening night performance, bringing back the powerfully influential century-old tale this season with high prospects.
An entrancing story depicting passion, deceit and heartbreak was brilliantly captured in Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen’s transformative choreography of the romance between the White Swan Odette, and Prince Siegfried.
Odette, the Swan Queen performed by Misa Kuranaga, was an innocent girl tricked, captured and transformed into a beautiful white swan by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, Lasha Khozashvili.
A dramatic curtain-drop followed the sinister turn of events moments into the performance, concluding with Odette being brutally dragged off-stage by Rothbart, causing gasps and murmurs amongst the audience.
Odette fell into a state of despair as she was destined to remain under Rothbart’s spell until a man pledged himself to her.
The character of Odette, is depressed, sad and afraid, Kuranaga said in an interview presented by the Boston Ballet. To convey these emotions, every movement is slow, heavy and very delicate, she said.
Hope arose for Odette when Siegfried, guest dancer Gonzalo Garcia, appeared enamored by her beauty when he encountered her during a hunting trip to the lake. Their back-and-forth interaction and withdrawal raised tensions in the atmosphere but an intense connection was formed when they embraced each other.
It seemed like the perfect ending when the prince vowed to love Odette eternally. However, Rothbart wasn’t going to release Odette so simply. Embodying Rothbart’s threatening demeanor, Khozashvili’s performance foreshadowed the ominous fate.
At the prince’s coming-of-age ball, Rothbart presented his daughter, the Black Swan Odile, who was transformed to resemble Odette. Dressed in a striking black costume, Kuranaga was transformed into the Black Swan. Immersed into the character of Odile, Kuranaga showed her ability to take on multiple roles and her versatility in portraying two contrasting characters.
In comparison, the Black Swan’s movements are very sharp and cold, Kuranaga said.
“She smiles because she’s trying to trick everybody and she needs to seduce the prince,” Kuranaga said. “She’s constantly smiling, but smiling with this evil smile.”
To Rothbart’s delight, Odile successfully manipulated Siegfried, who was blinded by love. In a moment of passionate affection, the naive prince professed his love for Odile.
The inevitable heartbreaking effect was felt when Rothbart revealed their elaborate deception and Siegfried realized the irreversible mistake he had made by breaking his vow to Odette.
Despite the painful revelation, the swans mesmerized the audience as they emerged from a sea of mist, evoking a collective “oooh” from the audience. The ballerinas embodied the elegance of swans and their graceful synchronization created an impressively harmonious effect.
The prince and Odette are reunited in a breathtakingly beautiful performance and together, they defeated Rothbart. However, Odette remained bound by the curse and the prince was left to believe he had nothing to live for.
“Swan Lake” runs from April 29 – May 26 at the Boston Opera House. For tickets and more information, visit bostonballet.org/swanlake/
Join the social media conversation with #BBSwanLake #BostonBallet @BostonBallet
Student rush tickets can be purchased for $25 at the box office two hours before each performance.