Swan Lake at the War Memorial Opera House

“Swan Lake” presented by the San Francisco Ballet is playing at the War Memorial Opera House until February 28. The company performed the first American production of Swan Lake in 1940, this version is choreographed by Helgi Tomasson.  He choreographed his first production of Swan Lake for SF Ballet in 1988 and in 2009, he created a new version. This is his first time returning since 2010.

It’s Prince Siegfried’s (Tiit Helimets) twenty-first birthday and his mom wants him to choose a wife. She announces that she will be giving a ball and has invited young princesses from all over Europe to attend and attempt at winning his heart. This leaves him pensive and while wandering at the lakeside he aims his arrow at a group of swans until one of them transforms into a beautiful woman, Odette (Yuan Yuan Tan). He learns that her and her friends have been placed under a spell by Von Rothbart (Alexander Reneff-Olson) in which they’re only in human form at night. The whimsical scenery transforms us into a world of beauty and grace especially when all the swans come out to perform together. Tan’s agility is stellar in each scene however, Helimets had a few offbeat moments.

Swan Lake at SFBallet

In the last two acts Odette’s identity, Odile, is reveled during the ball after Siegfried declares his loves for her and his mother approves. Rothbart and he battle it out and the Swans grieve for their queen. There’s still a way left to break the spell and rid the evil of Rothbart, love and death. The last scene takes place on top of the grand staircase  lit by the glow of the moon. The dramatic end will leave you in awe.

‘Swan Lake’ through Feb. 28 at the War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco

Tickets: $22-$322; 415-865-2000, www.sfballet.org

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