Ballet Midwest to Crown 40th Season: Swan Lake


The quintessential ballet “Swan Lake” set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score was met with disfavorable reviews 140-some years ago. Today, it’s revered as one of ballet’s most challenging, rewarding and celebrated pieces. 

Have you attended a Ballet Midwest performance in the last 40 years? If so, then you are in company with over 160,000 other people and know the beauty of live, classical ballets. If you haven’t, change that this year and be a part of Ballet Midwest’s 40th anniversary celebration and the final production under the artistic co-directorship of Barbara Ebert. Ebert is retiring as founder and artistic director of Ballet Midwest, leaving her daughter Lacee to carry on the family tradition. Lacee, already an artistic co-director, has added new choreography to delight Ballet Midwest audiences and challenge dancers. 

SWAN LAKE the Hendrix of the ballet world

Even if you have two left feet, you’ve heard of “Swan Lake.”  It’s ballet’s version of “Purple Haze” or “Stairway to Heaven.” It’s a must-see for aficionados and a cultural enlightenment for the casual fan, a chance to witness one of the genre’s most definitive works. 

Beyond the classical, live Tchaikovsky score is the ridiculous and famous sequence at the end of the third act when the lead ballerina performs a move called ouettés en tournant. More specifically, spinning en pointe 32 times in a row. It’s a feat of sheer strength and agility; the pinnacle of dance athleticism. (Etiquette states that that audience should start applauding after the first dozen spins.) 

Swan Lake

While the music is timeless, live theatre is always evolving, which is part of the joy and excitement of attending. Ballet Midwest is continually enlightening audiences, even after 40 years of production. 

Ballet is such a unique art form and has the ability to reach people on a deep, abstract level. Ballet is live and in the moment. While rehearsed, it’s unedited and unfiltered, it is real and tangible. Expand your artistic viewpoint and join thousands this April at Topeka Performing Arts Center for Ballet Midwest’s “Swan Lake.”

By Kerrice Mapes

Kerrice Mapes

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