Boston Ballet reprises popular ‘Swan Lake’

Boston Ballet reprises Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake in 2016Boston Ballet’s spring season kicks off on International Dance Day with Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake, back by popular demand after a record-breaking world premiere in October 2014. Described by Robert Greskovic of The Wall Street Journal as “artful” and “luminous,” the timeless classical masterpiece features choreography by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and costumes and sets by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola.


For this production, Boston Ballet welcomes Gonzalo Garcia, principal dancer with New York City Ballet (NYCB), as a guest artist. He will perform Prince Siegfried with Boston Ballet Principal Misa Kuranaga on April 29 and 30. Nissinen’s Swan Lake runs April 29–May 26 at The Boston Opera House. Due to the high ticket demand, an additional performance has been added on May 25 at 7:30 pm.


“While Swan Lake is more than 100 years old, it has truly timeless power and is probably the most beloved classical ballet in the world,” explains Nissinen. “With so many sold-out performances last season, I am thrilled to bring it back this year and to give audiences more opportunities to see Swan Lake and for the company to dance it.”


Nissinen’s Swan Lake—premiered in 2014—follows the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried in a tale of romance, sorcery and deceit. The second act, originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, is historically considered the finest piece of classical choreography for the corps de ballet. The production is set to a luscious score by P.I. Tchaikovsky, performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra.


Swan Lake is designer Robert Perdziola’s second commission from Boston Ballet, following his debut of The Nutcracker in 2012. According to Perdziola, the production’s designs have “some recognizable German influences” set in the late gothic/early renaissance period.


Nissinen’s goal with the reimagined production was to update it to meet the skills of today’s dancers but remain true to the intent and impact of the original by Marius Petipa and Ivanov, which was premiered in 1895 by Imperial Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre. This season’s performances will feature several debuts in new roles, shining light on the vast talent of the company.


Nissinen is especially glad to have Garcia joining the company for two performances. He said, “I am thrilled to welcome Gonzalo Garcia back to Boston for the performances of Swan Lake to partner Misa Kuranaga as Odette/Odile. This will be a dynamic duo!”


He continued, “I have a long history with Gonzalo, from back in his student days. He is a gifted and beautiful dancer and I have great respect for him as an artist. Thank you to Peter Martins for making it possible for Gonzalo to perform with Boston Ballet.”


Boston Ballet dedicates these performances of Swan Lake to the memory of former Artistic Director Violette Verdy (1933–2016), a legendary and beloved star of the dance world.


For further information on Boston Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, visit Note that Swan Lake will run in conjunction with Boston Ballet’s mixed repertory program, Mirrors, during the month of May at the Boston Opera House.



Photo: Ashley Ellis and Eris Nezha in Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet.