Emily Adams and Adrian Fry in SWAN LAKE - Photo by Beau Pearson 1.jpg - Ballet West principal artist Emily Adams performs in "Swan Lake."

Ballet West's 'Swan Lake' Prepares to Take the Stage

By Ashley Fredde, KSL.com
February 04, 2024

Header image by Beau Pearson

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SALT LAKE CITY - Ballet West's "Swan Lake" promises enchantment, mesmerizing movement and a love story that transports audiences from the bleakness of winter.

"There's something so powerful about seeing that the symmetry and the clean core work that it's mesmerizing, and I think that's why so many people love it because it's almost hard to put your finger on what's so mesmerizing about it. It's a combination of the music and then also just the fact that you're seeing 18 soloist ballerinas on the stage at the same time and the strength of that, visually, is very unique to 'Swan Lake,'" said Emily Adams, who dances the lead role of Odette, the princess who gets transformed into a swan.

The production features the iconic melodies of Tchaikovsky performed live by the Ballet West Orchestra, along with a handcrafted set and gorgeous costumes. The combination of theatrical performances and production will transport audiences into a world of sorrowful princes, evil wizards and swan maidens. Cast in both roles of Odette and Odile, Adams must embody the stark differences of the two swans.

Ballet West principal artist Emily Adams performs in "Swan Lake." - Beau Pearson

"You have to portray both characters and be believable as both, so Odette is, she's strong but slightly more fragile. She's very sad but hopeful. She moves in a way that's very soft and controlled, almost like on the precipice of something the whole time and just kind of looking over and hoping you don't fall in," said Adams. "You transform into Odile, which is just the creation of the evil wizard Von Rothbart ... you have to be cunning and dramatic but you also can't be a caricature."

The striking tragedy explores not only the power of love and the feelings of loss but also forgiveness in a way that resonates with attendees.

Ballet West principal artist Emily Adams performs in "Swan Lake." - Beau Pearson

"I feel like we all have those times in our lives where you have the first meeting and sort of the bittersweetness of that, and then, also, like things always go wrong. Something always happens, and things go wrong, and then finding love and forgiveness after that," said Adams.

"I liked that we do these ballets in the darkness of winter. This time of year it can be very bleak. Having ballets that you can go into the theater, and it's like you hear the music and you see some sort of love story happening that's uplifting, even if it's sad, I think it's important — why theater is so important and why I want to be a part of it so much," added Adams.

Performance Details

Dates: February 9 - February 17

Recommended ages: 8 years old and up

Run-time: 2 hours 37 minutes

Link to Buy Tickets: boxoffice.balletwest.org/.

Location Map

Make it a weekend by staying downtown after the ballet. Find lodging here.