About the Performance
Choreographer: Bengt Jörgen
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Costume Design: Robert Doyle
Set Design: Camellia Koo
Lighting Design: Bonnie Beecher
Number of Dancers: 24 company dancers, 6-12 local dancers (15 roles)
Running time: 2h 15min (including 20min intermission)
On the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary in 2012, Artistic Director and CEO Bengt Jörgen re-visioned the classical and dramatic Swan Lake, adding a hint of Canadian heritage as is often a sign of his work. While this production of Swan Lake showcases the extraordinary beauty of traditional ballet in its purest form, Jörgen re-imagined it in the picturesque seascape of the Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.
The elaborate sets are designed by Camellia Koo, reflecting the beauty of Canada’s national heritage park and giving a dramatic backdrop to Robert Doyle’s 17th century costume designs. Doyle was thrilled to be involved in this unique rendition of Swan Lake having worked on the original restoration project of the Fortress of Louisbourg.
“We are committed to not only recreate ballet classics in a way that is respectful of tradition, but also in a way that is engaging for our modern audience. We engage in a dialogue about Canada and reflect Canadian identity in our work. There’s no reason why Swan Lake has to be staged in some imaginary medieval European place. This version of Swan Lake is set in and around the Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia,and so our audiences will see Canadian heritage intrinsically reflected in the piece. I am so excited about this work and be able to do it with the kind of incredible dancers that we have. Swan Lake has an evocative and inspiring quality that makes it a pleasure and beauty to work on, and I’m excited about transferring that feeling to the people watching it.“ – Bengt Jörgen
The choreography – using a traditional vocabulary stripped of pretence to allow for heightened clarity of movement – simply sparkles.
Critics At Large
The corps is gorgeous, particularly in the final scene, and the dancers’ storytelling abilities, both through body movements and facial expressions, are outstanding.
The Chronicle Herald
Swan Lake is another little gem.
The Globe and Mail
Does the story make sense transferred to Canada? Yes, and magnificently so. In look and feel and intent, this is a Canadian Swan Lake.
Journal Thunder Bay