Staff Report

The Russian Ballet Theatre is thrilled to bring a breathtaking new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to San Luis Obispo at the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Tickets for the San Luis Obispo performance are on sale now and available online at
Swan Lake, which has mesmerized audiences for over a century, is based on a German fairy tale. Tchaikovsky’s score tells the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and Swan Princess, Odette, who is cursed to be a swan by day but a young woman at night. The Russian Ballet Theatre’s new production will captivate audiences with time-honored Russian traditions while adding new choreography, hand painted sets, radiant hand sewn costumes, artistic hair designs and special effects makeup.
Pyotr Ilyick Tchaikovsky was commissioned to compose Swan Lake in 1875 by Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, the intendant of Moscow’s Russian Imperial Theatres. Based on a folk tale, Swan Lake tells the tragic love story of Prince Siegfriend and Swan Princess, Odette, who is cursed to be a swan by day but a young woman at night. It was the first ballet Tchaikovsky scored and like The Nutcracker, the original production was unsuccessful as critics deemed the music was too complicated and the original choreography by Julius Reisinger uninspired. Swan Lake was revived in 1895 with new choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov for the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, at which time it was very well received and became one of the most frequently revived works in the classical ballet cannon. The dual role of Odette/Odile, with its signature 32 fouettés en tournant, has been performed by most of the world’s leading ballerinas.
The Russian Ballet Theatre has pulled together an outstanding company of dancers for the 2019 tour of Swan Lake. The company features Olga Kifyak as “Odette,” Evgeny Svetlitsa as “Prince Siegfried,” Mikhail Ovcharov as the “Jester” and Vasili Bogdan as “Rothbart.” 
The Russian Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake is choreographed by Nadezhda Kalinina with Sergey Novikov serving as production designer and Irina Strukova as special effects makeup designer. Strukova is an award winning makeup designer and has worked on large productions such a Crazy Rich Asians (2018). 
The Russian Ballet Theatre will donate a portion of ticket sales from its 2019 tour to local public schools through a collaboration with the Plus1 initiative. The ballet is partnering with, an online platform where organizations can choose the school they are donating to, and $1 per ticket sold will go local teachers in or around each city of the tour. For more information, please visit,