For his 2009 revamp of San Francisco Ballet’s “Swan Lake,” artistic director Helgi Tomasson added a Prologue. The idea was to make this Odette’s story, but if you ask me it’s still all about Siegfried. We may see Odette first, witnessing her capture by Von Rothbart and transformation into an animal, but Siegfried is still the character who has, as the narratologists might say, “agency.” He’s the one who makes the wrong choice and must pay penance; his is the narrative arc.
Joseph Walsh and Maria Kochetkova in “Swan Lake.” Photograph by Erik Tomasson
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE