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"Swan Lake" returns to Victoria after 30 years

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
March 5, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

Jasmany Hernandez and Agustina Galizzi, of Mexico City, practice the Black Swan pas de Duex in preparation for Victoria Ballet Theatre's performance of Swan Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Victoria Ballet Theatre presents "Swan Lake"

• WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday

• WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St.

• COST: $25

• MORE INFO: weldercenter.org or victoriaballet.org

It's a ballet synonymous with Russian folklore and grace, a quintessential classic that's solidified its place in pop culture.

To attend "Swan Lake," then, is to attend the ballet.

"This is a ballet that really accompanies strength and the strength of your dancers as a group," said Brenda Tally, artistic director for the Victoria Ballet Theater. "And for our soloists, it's a role that's truly challenging."

For the first time since 1984, "Swan Lake" returns in its entirety to the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts for a 30-year anniversary performance, recognizing the Victoria Ballet Theater's three decades of dancing.

Agustina Galizzi, a principle ballerina with the Compania Nacional de Danza in Mexico, stars as the white swan, Odette, dancing the story of a sorcerer's curse over a swan princess and the power of good and evil.

She is joined by fellow guest dancers from Mexico, Jasmany Hernandez and Gandhi Iriarte.

Tally said two Victoria Ballet Theater alumni dancers, Jacline Henrichs and Colleen Barnes, are traveling from New York to dance in the anniversary performance.

Debbe Busby, the ballet theater's founding artistic director, danced in the original 1984 performance.

"Classical ballet is so much about passing on the ballet from person to person, and it's usually staged by someone who's danced it," Tally said. "So it's great to have Debbe working directly with the company."

Tally said "Swan Lake" performed at the Welder Center is a perfect opportunity for people to see the performance up close.

"The caliber of our dancers is very high, and I think one of the benefits of seeing it in Victoria is the venue. It's intimate; there are no bad seats," she said.

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