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The National Ballet of Canada

Swan Lake
choreography by James Kudelka

Dates 28 September - 1 October 2005 Venue The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts Reviewer Ross Michael Pink


Greta Hodgkinson with Artists of the Ballet in Swan Lake (Photo by Lydia Pewelak)
Swan Lake

The National Ballet of Canada, like many great ballet companies in the world, endures not because of a notable name alone but through constant striving to achieve excellence. Such was the case as they performed Swan Lake to near artistic perfection.

The company that was able to attract and then keep the famed dancer Rudolph Nureyev has a name in ballet circles that is well deserved

James Kudelka, former artistic director of the NBC, choreographed his version of Swan Lake in 1999 and has received critical acclaim. The ballet brings stunning sets to life and a new high tech twist with robotic technology. Twenty-four stage craftsmen are required to build the sets and 40 seamstresses to make the 120 elaborate costumes.

Kudelka enjoys an immensely successful international ballet career and was Artistic Director of the NBC from 1996 -2005, succeeded by the famed dancer, Karen Kain.

Some of the questions posed by Kudelka in his version of Swan Lake are: Who is Rothbart? What is his realm? Does the court fall because Siegfried has chosen the wrong woman? Ultimately, is a better world possible?The last question is timeless and thus may explain the enduring interest in Swan Lake as a classic.

Outstanding dancing by Heather Ogden in the role of Odette and Guillaume Cote in the role of Siegfried delighted the audience. Ogden displays supreme elegance which is matched perfectly by the strong, graceful steps of Cote. The music for Swan Lake, by Tchaikovsky, was peformed beautifully by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

The sell-out crowd were enthralled to see another masterpiece of dance by the National Ballet of Canada.

2005 Ross Michael Pink