Relive Your ‘Swan Lake’ Experience on Stage

Principal dancer Katherine Barkman as Odette

BEAUTIFUL Odette is Swan Princess by day and a young woman by night. Under the spell of Rothbart, she can only turn back into human form for a few hours after midnight. On one such occasion, she meets Prince Siegfried who falls in love with her. However, the prince is deceived by the same sorcerer Rothbart into getting engaged Odette's lookalike, Odile or the Black Swan. In some versions, the ill-fated lovers die together; in others, they break the spell and live happily ever after.

Thanks to an Oscar-winning film adaptation, we all know this as timeless tale of “Swan Lake.” But it is originally composed by Russian Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875 to 1876, and first performed by renowned Bolshoi Ballet company of Russia in 1877.

Relive all this as Ballet Manila presents “Swan Lake” as the second offering in its 22nd performance season dubbed Flights of Fantasy. The last two shows are slated on October 14, 6 p.m. and October 15 at 3 p.m. at Aliw Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

Here’s what to expect with Ballet Manila’s 11th restaging of “Swan Lake” as released:

“No self-respecting company steeped in the classics can forego the challenges of staging this classical warhorse, which has been one of the world’s most favorite ballets in over a hundred years,” declares Ballet Manila artistic director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde.

She also refers to “Swan Lake” as the ultimate test for a classical ballerina. “To dance the dual roles of Odette and Odile is one of the most difficult roles to do because you need to be vulnerable and lyrical as the White Swan and sharp and steely as the Black Swan. Simply put, Odette needs to be innocent, a pure soul; Odile is dark and evil.”

Principal dancer Katherine Barkman and soloists Joan Emery Sia and Abigail Oliveiro will make their debut in the role of Odette/Odile in the full-length ballet. Dancing as Prince Siegfried are Ballet Manila guest artist Joseph Phillips, principal dancer Rudy De Dios and soloists Mark Sumaylo and Elpidio Magat.

Ballet Manila co-artistic director Osias Barroso, who has performed as Siegfried in Russia and the Philippines, says the prince role is challenging for the danseur too. “At first, he is a jolly prince who goes to the forest to hunt, meets and falls in love with Odette, then is devastated to learn that he has sworn his eternal love to someone else. So there is a range of emotions that he has to convey, but he must also be subtle in his portrayal.”

Swan Lake features music by Peter Tchaikovsky performed live by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Alexander Vikulov of Russia’s Mariinsky Theater, and the original Lev Ivanov choreography for the white acts. It will also showcase a new set design by Miguel Faustmann and new costumes by Michael Miguel.

Tickets to Ballet Manila’s Swan Lake are available at all Ticketworld outlets; call 891-9999 or visit For more information, call 525-5967, visit or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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