Dancers show passion, talent in classic ballet

Tales: "Beauty and the Beast" and "Swan Lake" offer rich visual imagery and an opportunity to witness the expertise of those on stage.

April 22, 1999|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Ballet Theatre of Annapolis will bring to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts this weekend a program of dance that should be of interest to the whole family.

The all-classical program includes "Beauty and the Beast," a two-act ballet based on the ancient folk tale and choreographed by BTA's artistic director, Edward Stewart, and Act II of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

"Beauty and the Beast" will be a visual treat with elegant costumes and dramatic sets. Shari Vazquez dances the role of Beauty, with Jeffrey Watson as the Beast. The dramatic Rose pas de deux will be danced by BTA principal dancers Zhirui Zou and Dmitry Tuboltsev. Leslie Bradley dances as the Lady and Sandra Prehoda as the Unicorn.

Perhaps more than any other, "Swan Lake" defines classical ballet. In Act II, the beautiful Odette is trapped in a spell that forces her to be a swan during the day and take on human shape only at night. The spell can be broken if a man pledges his love for her. Prince Siegfried sees the Swan Queen Odette and falls in love with her.

Zou, who has won praise for her performances as the Swan Queen Odette in her native China, will dance the role in Annapolis.

The Beijing Evening News said Zou "vividly and skillfully expresses tender beauty, sorrow and the courage. She shows the ardent and dazzling beauty of the Black Swan."

Zou, who was to have been in Annapolis for one season, will return next year, BTA officials said.

Tuboltsev will dance Prince Siegfried, a role he has danced many times. His partners have been internationally known Russian ballerinas Natalia Besmertnova and Nadezhda Pavlova.

The role of Van Rothbart will be danced by Aram Manukyan, and the two Swans will be danced by Leslie Bradley and Anmarie Touloumis.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for children. For information and reservations, call BTA at 410-263-2909.

Pub Date: 4/22/99

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