Classic School of Dance presents Swan Lake ballet

Jason Forrest

The Recorder

M’CHIGEENG—As the audience packed the theatre and took their seats in anticipation for the performance to begin, one could spy under the curtain close to the floor and see delicate ballerina slippers practicing their last steps before the big show.

The Classic School of Dance took to the stage to present Swan Lake at Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) for their 17th performance Sunday, May 6.

Swan Lake is a classic ballet that premiered in Moscow in 1877, and was composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovski, according to the playbill.

Maja Mielonen, artistic director, was also the choreographer for the ballet performance.

Kylie Cranston played the lead role as Prince Siegfried, a coming of age prince who falls in love with Odette, the Swan Queen, played by Elizabeth Oswald.

Love and magic are largely present in the performance, in the professing of eternal love to Odette by Siegfried, and the vow to free her from her fate of transforming into a swan every morning.

Rothbart the magician uses his magic to confuse Siegfried into thinking Rothbart’s daughter Odile is a black swan and with her dance, she bewitches the prince completely into believing that this black swan is Odette, and he professes his love to the wrong woman.

He realizes his mistake and rushes after Odette, who is found badly hurt by Rothbart. The prince promises eternal love a moment before the final clash with Rothbart. Siegfried rips off one of the magician’s wings and saves Odette. The scene ends in celebration.

“It’s so nice to have such a close relationship with my dancers. We’re teachers, dancers, students, but we’re also friends,” Ms Mielonen said.

She said she appreciated everyone’s suggestions and input while the performance was being rehearsed.

All proceeds from the performance go to the student fund every year, Ms. Mielonen added. This year they were able to replace one of the stage floors.

“It went to a good cause,” she said.

Filming and DVD production was done by Wren Corbiere. All proceeds from the DVD go towards his post-secondary education.

A “big thank you” went out to the backstage crew, lighting, music technician and sound control.

On the back of the playbill Ms. Mielonen wrote: “Our 18th season will start in September 2012. Many students over the years have enjoyed dancing with us right up until they left Manitoulin Island. It always makes me very happy when they inform me that they take the joy of dance and movement with them, and continue dancing in one form or another.”