Did you know that the original storyline of the ballet Swan Lake included a disastrous ending for the dashing Prince Siegfried and his lovely Odette? Hint: That’s one secret you can share with your kids when you make one more attempt to interest them in the most beautiful form of dance. Go on and let them in on the secret: They’ve read about World War II, right? After that nightmare was over, the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia figured that the world had seen enough death and destruction, enough unhappy endings, and engineered a much happier final denouement for Swan Lake.
Now, back to getting your kids interested in the beauty, athleticism, and sheer grace that is the ballet. When they ask you which ending the Maine State Ballet’s (348 US Rte 1, Falmouth) production of this quintessential production has, you can say, “People in Maine are sensible. We choose happy endings, because we haven’t given up on our own dreams. And you never should, either.” Then, pile them in the car and bring them. We don’t care if you have to promise them an upgraded tablet. This is the real ballet.
MSB is performing the classic through April 9. Tickets range in price from $17.00 to $25.00 at http://www.mainestateballet.org/swan-lake (click on ‘Purchase Tickets’). And it is no small feat. The Artistic Director of Maine State Ballet, Linda MacArthur Miele, affirms that not all ballet company have the cojones to attempt Swan Lake. She says, “A company has to reach a certain level of maturity before they can even consider staging Swan Lake. The technique has to be there, and strength. Only then can you move on to the artistry that makes this ballet one of the most beloved of all time. Be prepared to cry, it’s so beautiful.” Which is not to say that your young ones will want to go home because it’s too sad. We’re talking tears of joy at the incredible truth and beauty on the stage, mere yards away. Isn’t that why you wanted to get the kids into it to begin with?
Performance times are Friday evenings at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. No need to worry about keeping those small people up past their bedtime. And if you need another tidbit to entice them with, this year marks 140 years since Swan Lake premiered at the Bolshoi in 1877 in Moscow. Need one more? It was eighteen years later before one of the great masters, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, had his score added to the production, creating the standard we know and love. So just bite the bullet and bring the whole brood, because if your blood flows faster from the best ballets, so will theirs.
Maine State Ballet: 207-781-7672