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Joel Levine will conduct the beloved “Swan Lake,” in April – a first for Oklahoma City audiences


Staff Report

For the first time in its 41-year history, the Oklahoma City Ballet will present a full-length production of Swan Lake, widely believed the most technically and emotionally-challenging classical ballets of all time, according to Artistic Director Robert Mills.

There will be three performances: 8 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday April 20; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave.

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform Tchaikovsky’s famous score live, conducted by Maestro Joel Levine.

“This is a milestone moment for the performing arts in Oklahoma City,” Levine said. “Swan Lake isn’t just a ballet, it is the ballet. The production is a ‘must see’ for OKC; it is a big step forward, and it’s very exciting.”

Mills said, “The story of Swan Lake is all about transformation. The Oklahoma City Ballet has transformed over the past five years into a company capable of honoring the high art and transcendent power of this important ballet.

“Everyone who loves the performing arts should see Swan Lake at least once in their lifetime. The time is now for ballet in Oklahoma City.”
The ballet will be performed in two acts rather than the more traditional four-act version, an adaptation – a trend among ballet companies because it makes the ballet more accessible to modern audiences. “Most all of the iconic moments and dances in the ballet will remain,” Mills said.

Preparations for the historic production began more than a year ago and evolved into a regional effort.

Oklahoma City Ballet dancers Miki Kawamura and Yui Sato will dance the lead roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried at the Friday evening opening night performance, and soloists from the Houston Ballet, Nao Kusuzaki and Christopher Coomer, will perform the lead roles in the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances.

The Oklahoma City Ballet company includes 26 dancers representing six countries and 10 states in the U.S. who will be accompanying three Oklahoma dancers.

The ballet will feature beautiful sets and costumes including Prince Siegfried’s palace interior and the moonlit lakeside
The palace scenes will be staged by Artistic Director Robert Mills and Ballet Master Jacob Sparso, inspired by the original choreography of Marius Petipa.

The “white acts” will be staged by guest repetiteur Lisa Moon, using the original choreography of Lev Ivanov.

Family Activities & Education
Pre-performance Saturday, at 7:15 p.m. Lecture on the historical significance of Swan Lake in the South Lobby.
Pre-performance at 1 pm Sunday. Hear the fable of Swan Lake while learning the art of pantomime (storytelling through movement).
Post-performance Sunday – There will be a “Meet and Greet” with the dancers directly following the Sunday matinee performance. Refreshments provided by Braum’s.

Individual ticket prices range from $33 to $55 depending on section. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 405.848.TOES (8637) or the Civic Center Box Office at 405-297-2264.

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