SWAN LAKE (created for Houston Ballet in 2006, performed again by Houston Ballet in 2009) Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Choreography by Stanton Welch, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov Scenic and Costume Designs by Kristian Fredrikson Lighting Design by Lisa Pinkham
Set to the hauntingly beautiful Tchaikovsky score, Swan Lake tells the classic tale of Odette - a beautiful maiden transformed into a swan by an evil knight - and the prince who swears his enduring love for her. It's good and evil in black and white, danced on rich and spectacular sets by the late, great New Zealand designer Kristian Fredrikson.
One of the most famous and frequently performed works in the international repertoire, Swan Lake was first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow in 1877, with a specially commissioned score by Tchaikovsky. The production was not an overwhelming success at its premiere. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Dance, "neither the ballet nor its ballerina were well received." On March 1, 1894, Act II of Swan Lake, featuring choreography by Lev Ivanov, was performed for a Tchaikovsky memorial. The Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov production, which became the definitive version, was performed at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on January 27, 1895.