History and the Kings Theatre continue to go hand-in-hand. For one night only, on January 31, the beloved Brooklyn venue welcomes the world-class performance artists of the National Ballet Theatre of Odessa to its stage, as part of the Ukraine-based company’s inaugural trip through America. The group will proudly present a new production of the Tchaikovsky classic Swan Lake, the same ballet the body performed when its dancers scaled a stage for the very first time back in 1923.
“We’re very excited, because first of all, this is Brooklyn—the heart of New York,” says Igor Levin of Classical ARTS Entertainment and the promoter of the company’s North American tour, which is stopping in more than 50 cities. “The Kings Theatre is such a nice theater, and at the same time, the company, in a great, great theater, is going to do a great, great performance.”
Boasting 55 of the most talented Ukrainian ballet stars, the National Ballet Theatre of Odessa is part of the production corps in the city’s prestigious Opera and Ballet Theatre. The gorgeous neo-baroque-style building is the oldest theater in Odessa, and some of the greatest divas of classical ballet have graced its stage, from Anna Pavlova to Galina Ulanova to Maya Plisetskaya. The company specializes in the great masterpieces of ballet, from Minkus’s Don Quixote and Bournonville’s La Sylphide to the more modern classics by the likes of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and others. Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s first ballet, and composed nearly 150 years ago, remains one of the medium’s most revered works.
“Swan Lake is like the mother of all ballets or the father of all ballets,” says Mr. Levin. “People know about ballet from Swan Lake. This production puts together the best music with the best love story that brings people to life.”
A timeless tale, Swan Lake combines romance and tragedy with a dash of magic. While under a sorcerer’s spell, an elegant swan princess named Odette must spend her days as a swan swimming on a lake of tears, though at night she can retain her beautiful human form. She meets Prince Siegfried one evening at the lake just after he’d fled his home, upset over the realization that he is to take part in a soon-to-be-arranged marriage.
Will the prince’s love be true enough to break the spell cast over Odette? Can he outmaneuver the evil sorcerer committed to keeping the swan princess under his control? Could Odette ultimately embrace a man who appears to have chosen another?
Theatergoers will find out as they take in a marvelous display of dancing perfection, spectacular set design, and stunning costumes.
“This company has its own factory, who do their own costumes, their own sets, their own everything,” Mr. Levin says. “Everything is the best.”
When asked what audience members will appreciate the most about Swan Lake at the Kings Theatre, Mr. Levin again refuses to mince words: “All of them will love the music, they will love the choreography in the old traditions of classical ballet, and they will love the love in the performance.”
Purchase tickets for the January 31 performance of “Swan Lake” at the Kings Theatre box office or online here. Doors open at 6 pm. Showtime at 7:30 pm.