When the curtain opens on Ballet Arizona's Swan Lake, the audience is transported to a world reminiscent of Grimm's fairy tales. Layers of elaborate trees, looking like a cross between delicate ink drawings and woodcuts used to illustrate storybooks long ago, line each side of the stage.
Alexander Iziliaev Brian Leonard (Prince Siegfried) and Jillian Barrell (Odette/Odile) perform in Swan Lake with Ballet Arizona.
Scenic design by David Walker, courtesy of Texas Ballet Theater, is one of several elements making this Swan Lake a visual feast. The production features two acts, each with two scenes. For each one, the curtain rises on a new setting: garden palace, forest, ballroom and lakeside.
So too are costumes -- including the Von Rothbart costume designed by Leonor Texidor and Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen. It's all about the expansive wings -- fluid but strong and rich with deep shades of blue and green.
Von Rothbart is the bad guy in Swan Lake, a classic tale of good and evil that reminds us love can't always have a happy ending. The good guy is Prince Siegfried, who heads into the woods on his 21st birthday, eager to try the crossbow gifted by this mother.
Soon sorcery meets soap opera.