Dance Review: Swan Lake

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Nashville Ballet's Swan Lake takes place Oct. 17 - 19 at TPAC's Jackson Hall.


A truly exquisite way to kick off Nashville Ballet’s new season! 

Nashville Ballet presents
Swan Lake (Oct. 17 – 19; All ages)
TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
782-4040 •
Remaining show times: Sat 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m.
Tickets: $28 – $89

The sheer beauty of classical ballet shines bright on TPAC’s Jackson Hall stage this weekend with Nashville Ballet’s 2014 -2015 season opener, Swan Lake. Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in the late 19th century (Swan Lake’s premiere staging was in 1877 by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow), the ballet’s story draws from Russian folk tales and depicts the story of a princess turned into a swan by the spell of an evil sorcerer — and the only thing that can break the curse is the faithful true love of a man.

Swan Lake is undoubtedly a favorite among ballet audiences, and it’s a royal treat to see Nashville Ballet staging it again (2010 was the last time the company produced it). Swan Lake is also one of the most physically demanding of its dancers in the classical ballet world, and Nashville Ballet’s company members deliver a pristine performance start to finish.

Sadie Bo Sommer stars in the dual roles of Odette, the white swan, and Odile, the deceptive black swan (Kayla Rowser fills those shoes during the Saturday and Sunday matinee performances). Sommer’s well-seasoned, impeccable talent flows across the stage with the utmost grace and elegance — it’s a prime example of a performance that beginning ballerinas aspire to achieve.

Jon Upleger dances his role as Prince Siegfried (Christoper Stuart is on tap for the matinee shows) with a great amount of strength and dexterity, most notable in Act III’s scene during the lavish ball. Mark Allyn Nimmo’s bold stage presence is perfect in his portrayal of the ominous sorcerer Rothbart. A particular nod is also in order to Auguso Cezar’s dazzling role as the Jester. He brings a good bit of appropriate lightheartedness to the stage serving up a flawless amount of footwork.

Guest conductor Emil de Cou leads the Nashville Symphony in providing Tchaikovsky’s lush musical backdrop, and Holly Highfill’s colorful set design coupled with David Heuvel’s vibrant costuming greatly enhance the ballet’s visual appeal.

Swan Lake is a wonderful family-friendly ballet and a truly exquisite way to kick off Nashville Ballet’s new season!



Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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