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Lake Effect: Joffrey’s Beautiful “Swan Lake”

October 18th, 2018 by Giselle

The Joffrey Ballet_Photo by Cheryl Mann copy

Like most ballets, the story of “Swan Lake” is a heart-breaking one. Thankfully, in the hands of the consistently excellent Joffrey Ballet company, the waves of “Swan Lake” are navigated and danced with gorgeous emotion and mind-blowing skill, which takes the audience on a beautiful journey of levity and tragedy, light and dark.

The artistic direction and vision of choreography Christopher Wheeldon, as well as the rest of the Joffrey’s impressive directors and designers, make this 2018 performance transportive; at times, the audience is inside the grand, fluidity of the swan’s habitat—in other acts, it feels like we’re inside the Paris Red Light district of Toulouse Lautrec. But, the larger brush stroke for this performance’s vibe comes from the dreamy and moody imagery of Degas.

Valeria Chaykina_Nicole Ciapponi_Lucia Connolly_Chloe Sherman_Photo by Cheryl Mann copy

The Joffrey Ballet is amazing to watch. The level of which this company continues to perform is truly impressive. They have an ability to tackle both contemporary and classical ballet, and it’s always exciting to see these stories come to life in a Joffrey performance — the Joffrey’s performances are intimate and grand simultaneously.

Lucky for us opening night goers, we got to watch Victoria Jaiani in the principal role of “Odette/Odile”. Having seen (and been stunned) by Jaiani is last year’s “Giselle,” I knew we’d be in for some more magic. Jaiani is technically amazing (pretty sure I’ve never seen another human with that much ability to extend her body)—but she also dances with emotion and joy. It’s a true gift to watch her talents sparkle across the stage.

Dylan Gutierrez, as Prince Siegfried, was a great balance to Jaiani with his strong and emotional performance, as was the whole company, who all together created a beautiful new world out of this classic tale. A must-see.

Dylan Gutierrez_Victoria Jaiani_Photo by Cheryl Mann copy

“Swan Lake” runs until October 28th, at Auditorium Theatre. Tickets are available here.

All photos by: Cheryl Mann/ courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet.

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