Washington Ballet’s Swan Lake debut

The Washington BalletWashington Ballet is set to make a historic debut when it presents iconic ballerina Misty Copeland at the helm of its production. In April 2015, many firsts will be seen for the 70 year old company, none more prominent than the premiere of star ballerina Misty Copeland in the leading roles of Odette/Odile. The production will also launch performances by musical artists of S&R Foundation’s Evermay Chamber Orchestra in Washington Ballet’s first-ever full length production of this quintessential ballet.

Recently Copeland has been on the rise to stardom as one of the US’s most celebrated ballerinas, only the second African-American ballerina to be promoted to soloist at American Ballet Theatre. Recently she was a guest judge on the television show So You Think You Can Dance, and was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

As an artist, Copeland is changing the paradigm as to what a ballerina should look like, with delicate physicality, fantastic technique and a natural stage presence to make her one of the most important female dancers in the US today. As a classical dancer she is now redefining the typical notions of what a ballet dancer should look like, and is a model for where classical ballet is going, ultimately artistic and physically powerful.

Washington Ballet will be dancing Kirk Peterson’s adaptation of Swan Lake, which draws heavily on the 1934 adaptation of the 1895 original Petipa/Ivanov Swan Lake. Peterson is widely regarded as a specialist in re-staging full-length classical repertoire such as The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle and Coppélia through years of research and dedication to ballet. For Swan Lake, Peterson aims to revive the original intent of Swan Lake and breathe new life into what he calls “a damaged icon.”