Woman Power

"Swan Lake"
The National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Toronto, Canada
June 10, 2022 

by Denise Sum
copyright © 2022 by Denise Sum

Swan-Lake-Harrison-Dronina-KurasKaren Kain’s “Swan Lake” has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled to premiere in June 2020, the new production was pushed back two years due to the pandemic. It marks the end of Kain’s long career as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, from 2005 to 2021. This “Swan Lake” is a collaborative effort. Kain is not a choreographer and while the production is directed and staged by her, she also relies on Associate Artistic Director Christopher Stowell and Choreographic Associate Robert Binet for choreography, which is listed in the program as “after Erik Bruhn, after Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa”. Sometimes this version suffers from too many cooks in the kitchen and can feel a bit scattered. Nonetheless, it is truer to the heart of the love story and more dynamic than James Kudelka’s bleak and dreary version that the company has been performing since 1999. As such, it feels like a breath of fresh air and will be part of Kain’s legacy with the NBoC. 

Jurgita Dronina and Harrison James in "Swan Lake". Photo by Karolina Kuras. 

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