"Swan Lake" at the Municipal Theater

Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Swan Lake is one of the most important works of the world's classical ballet repertoire, one which surprises with its beauty, drama and lyricism.
The story begins in 1875, when the director of the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, Vladimir Begitchev, commissioned from composer Tchaikovsky a song for a ballet inspired by women-swans legends. Two years later, the spectacle premiered in Russia, but without the expected success.

In 1894, the then director of the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, Prince Ivan Alexandrovich, decided to honor the composer, who had died the previous year, with a new version of Swan Lake. He entrusted to Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov a new choreography, presented in January 1895. The Ballet in four acts was an absolute success, becoming one of the most popular classical ballets.

At The Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, the Swan Lake was presented in different versions, but it is only from November 1959, date of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Theater, that the full version, not toured previously in Latin America, was shown in 4 acts.

The presentation in 1959 was staged by Russian dancer and choreographer Eugenia Feodorova.

In all, the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro held nine complete productions of Swan Lake: 1959, 1978, 1988, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2016. All the choreographic versions were based on the choreography by Petipa and Ivanov, 1895.

In the season of 1959, ballet dancer Bertha Rosanova plays the roles of Odette - the White Swan - and Odille - the Black Swan. Prince Siegfried was masterfully interpreted by Aldo Lotufo.

The orchestra was conducted by Nino Stinco.

In 1978, nineteen years after the first complete staging, Swan Lake was presented to the public by the Ballet of the Municipal Theater again, this time in the version created by Jorge Garcia, director of the Corps de Ballet.

In the cast, Ghislaine Thesmar, Michael Denard, Gustavo Mallajoli and Cristina Martinelli.

The orchestra was conducted by Henrique Morelenbaum.

Swan Lake returned to the stage of the Municipal Theater in 1988, again in Eugenia Feodorova's version.
The production cast included dancers Ana Botafogo, Cecilia Kerche, Jorge Esquivel, Jean-Yves Lormeau and Elisabeth Platel.

Maestro Mario Tavares was the conductor of the production during the Season.

The set, costumes and lighting were designed by Hugo de Ana.

The fourth staging, in 1997, involved dancer Bertha Rosanova, star of the 1959 Swan Lake season, rehearsing the cast, which included dancers Ana Botafogo, Fernanda Diniz, Nora Esteves, Renata Versiani, Teresa Augusta, Paulo Rodrigues, Francisco Timbó, Hélio Bejani, Allan Falieri, Renato Cabral, Bruno Cezário e Roberto Lima.

The version of the choreography was created by Jean-Yves Lormeau, artistic coordinator of the Ballet of the Municipal Theater.

Choreographed by Natalia Makarova, the 2001 Swan Lake season was played in set and costumes by Peter Farmer and conducted by Gustavo Plis-Sterenberg.

The cast of the season included dancers Ana Botafogo, Cecília Kerche, Roberta Marquez, Norma Pinna, Svetlana Zakharova - soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, Iñaki Urlezaga - first dancer of the Royal Ballet, Thiago Soares, Marcelo Misailidis, André Valadão, Renato Cabral, Ivan Franco and Vitor Luiz.

In 2003, the Municipal Theater presented, for the third time, Eugenia Feodorova's version, under artistic direction of Richard Cragun and conducted by Javier Logioia Orbe. The cast featured Claudia Mota, Roberta Marquez, André Valadão, Francisco Timbo, Vitor Luiz and Marcelo Misailidis.

The last three seasons of Swan Lake - 2006, 2013 and 2016 - followed the version created by Russian choreographer Yelena Pankova.

The cast of the presentation in 2006 included dancers Cecilia Kerche, Claudia Mota, Marcia Jaqueline Francisco Timbo, Vitor Luiz, Anderson Dionysius Carlos Cabral, Joseny Coutinho and Marcelo Misailidis.

In that season, the production was conducted by Maestro André Cardoso, current Artistic Director of FTM / RJ.

The presentations in 2013 were staged by Eric Frederic and Celeste Lima and conducted by maestro Silvio Viegas.

Claudia Mota, Marcia Jaqueline and Cuban ballet dancer Lorena Feijoo took turns in the roles of Odette-Odile. Denis Vieira, Vitor Luiz and Filipe Moreira interpreted the part of Prince Siegfried.

Edifranc Alves, Joseny Coutinho, Anderson Dionísio and Carlos Cabral represented the character of Von Rothbart.

In 2016, with a revival interpreted by Cecília Kerche, Celeste Lima, César Lima, Márcia Faggioni, Norma Pinna and Teresa Augusta, conducted by Javier Logioia Orbe, the Swan Lake delighted the audience of the Municipal Theater again.

As bailarinas Claudia Mota, Márcia Jacqueline, Karen Mesquita e Mel Oliveira interpretaram as personagens Odette-Odile.

Filipe Moreira, Moacir Emanoel, Diego Lima, Murilo Gabriel, Cícero Gomes, Rodrigo Neri, Wellington Gomes, Anderson Dionísio, Carlos Cabral, Edifranc Aves and Joseny Coutinho ensured the success of the season.

Credits: Story

Documentary sources
Collection of the Documentation Centre of the Municipal Theater Foundation of Rio de Janeiro - CEDOC / FTMRJ

Curatorship and Text
Fatima Cristina Gonçalves

Photos by
Bel Pedrosa
Julia Rónai
Sheila Guimarães

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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