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March 03, 2015

Pennsylvania Ballet wows with 'Swan Lake'

The company revives Christopher Wheeldon's production

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Swan Lake Alexander Iziliaev/Pennsylvania Ballet

Principal dancer Lauren Fadeley and ballet master Zachary Hench in rehearsal for Christopher Wheeldon's "Swan Lake."

Pennsylvania Ballet's "Swan Lake" will return to the Academy of Music for just eight performances, running Thursday, March 5, through Sunday, March 8, and Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 15.

This tale is arguably the world's best-known ballet. (Not sure you know it? If you've seen "Black Swan," you've got a pretty good idea of the plot.) With its classic Tchaikovsky score and tale of star-crossed lovers, "Swan Lake" has entertained audiences since 1877. 

The story follows young Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with Odette the Swan Queen. Odette has been cursed into the form of a swan and can only be rescued by true love.  

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Principal dancers Lauren Fadeley and Zachary Hench in Christopher Wheeldon’s "Swan Lake." Alexander Iziliaev/Pennsylvania Ballet

In 2004, world-renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon refurbished the tale for modern audiences, keeping the Tchaikovsky music and setting the tale in the 19th century Paris Opera Ballet. The Pennsylvania Ballet's performance of Wheeldon's commissioned production sold out and the company eventually performed it at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005.

This season's revival will be principal dancer Zachary Hench's last performance with the Pennsylvania Ballet, as he is retiring from dancing. Coincidentally, Hench will perform the role of Siegfried, which he originated in Wheeldon's 2004 production. The Loysville, Pennsylvania, native will continue working with the company as ballet master, guiding the next generation of dancers.

Swan Lake

Thursday, March 5 through Sunday, March 15
Showtimes vary | $20-$129
The Academy of Music
240 S. Broad St.
(215) 551-7000

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