Houston Ballet presents the return of Swan Lake by Artistic Director Stanton Welch as the conclusion to the 2017/2018 Season. In this production, the everlasting love between Prince Siegfried and the maiden-turned-white-swan Odette is tested by the evil knight Rothbart and his black swan enchantress, Odile. Welch’s Swan Lake utilizes Tchaikovsky’s full score as arranged for this three-act production. In his staging, Welch imbues the main characters with greater psychological complexity, and gives the work a twenty-first century pace. Welch, who collaborated with Kristian Fredrikson on Swan Lake, was inspired by John William Waterhouse’s painting, The Lady of Shalott (1888). Waterhouse (1849-1917) was a British Neo-Classical and Pre-Raphaelite painter well-known for works featuring female characters from mythology and literature. The painting, which is based on Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem by the same title, depicts a tragic maiden afloat on a lake. Welch commented, “When I saw this painting I said, ‘This is our Odette.’ Here is a woman, a young heroine, lost in a forest by a lake, touched by tragedy.”
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