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CONTRIBUTED PHOTORussian National Ballet Theatre, “Swan Lake,” 8 p.m. March 24, Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem CONTRIBUTED PHOTORussian National Ballet Theatre, “Swan Lake,” 8 p.m. March 24, Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem

Russian Ballet ‘Swan’ to glide

Thursday, March 23, 2017 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE Special to The Press in Focus

The Russian National Ballet Theatre production of “Swan Lake” bodes to be as memorable as a swan gliding across a lake.

“Swans are majestic, strong and graceful, as our dancers are,” says Alexander Daev, Assistant Artistic Director and Ballet Master of the Russian National Ballet Theatre for eight years. “Our stage sets, lighting and costumes create a visual panorama always to be remembered,” says Daev.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre presents the exquisite ballet classic, “Swan Lake,” 8 p.m. March 24, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

The internationally-renowned Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of the late 1980s when dancers and choreographers of the Soviet Union enjoyed a new-found creative freedom. Vibrant dance companies were created, dedicated to the timeless tradition of classical Russian ballet, as well as inspiring, fresh choreography.

Russian National Ballet Theatre founders Sergei and Elena Radchenko have been Artistic Directors since 1994. Elena Radchenko was an esteemed Bolshoi principal dancer. The Radcheckos’ knowledge of classical ballet and performance experience brought the company world-wide success. The tour of “Swan Lake” tour, with more than 50 highly-trained dancers, began in January.

“Swan Lake,” based on Russian and German folklore, follows heroic Prince Siegfried as he tries to free the beautiful Swan Maiden from an evil sorcerer, Rotbart.

“Swan Lake” premiered March 4, 1877, at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.

“It follows the original choreography as it’s been handed down to us,” says Daev in an email interview. “Very traditional.”

The romantic love story, in four Acts, is set to the magnificent music of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Says Daev, Tchaikovsky’s music is emotional, beautiful and powerful.”

Principal dancers are Olga Gudkova (Odetta), Maria Klueva (Odile), Nelson Pena (Prince Siegfried), Eldar Sarsembayev (the Jester) and Evgeniy Rudakov (Rotbart).

The stunning ballet has robust, dramatic choreography and impressive balletic technique. The blend of beautiful swans, evil spells, captivity and true love has providcd a beloved tale for 140 years. Daev explains “Swan Lake”’s enduring appeal: “It tells a story which is both universal and timeless. It is the story of love and goodness overcoming the power of evil. It transcends cultural differences.”

Tickets: zoellnerartscenter.org, Zoellner Arts Center Box Office, 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, 610-758-2787, ext. 0