It is circles I see, and always have, whenever I listen, and often I do, to Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” For me, one stimulates the other, and the composition upon every visit sets to the business of drawing its familiar beloved circles, from the large and sweeping to the tightly coiled. Melodic circles that anyone can hum or whistle, or with finger tap out on the table; such a union of the senses is what “Swan Lake” is for me. That is what I hear in the music, and see in the choreography, a melody and a romanticism impossible to resist or ignore.
The Australian Ballet in rehearsal for Stephen Baynes' “Swan Lake.” Photograph by Lynette Willis
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