Programme cover for this season

Duchy Ballets Swan Lake - A story of love and betrayal...

A ballet in four acts. Prince Siegfried, heir to the throne, has to find a bride. He isn't really interested, but his mother insists. The Queen is planning a Grand ball and she invites prospective princesses from different kingdoms. The prince enjoys his birthday celebrations but when all have departed he succumbs to melancholy and longing.

The Prince goes hunting at night and surprises a flock of beautiful swans by the lake. The Prince is amazed when their leader turns out to be a princess, called Odette. She has been bewitched by the wicked magician, Von Rothbart. The princesses can only return to their human form at night and if the spell is to be broken then a Prince has to swear allegiance to Odette. Odette and Siegfried fall in love and he swears eternal love.

At the Grand Ball dancers from Spain, Poland, Russia, Italy and Hungary arrive as the entourage of the prospective fiancées. As the celebrations get under way a Stranger arrives with his beautiful daughter Odile. Siegfried thinks that he recognises Odette and is captivated. Following the entertainment by the dancers from the different countries, Siegfried and Odile dance together. Von Rothbart, for it is he who has brought his own daughter to captivate the Prince's affections, asks Siegfried to swear his love for the black swan. As he raises his hand, Odette is seen at the window wringing her hands and pleading. Pandemonium ensues. The Prince rushes away to the lakeside.

By the lakeside, little black cygnets reflect the disaster which has occurred. The swans dance slowly and sadly and try to comfort Odette. The Prince rushes in and battles with Rothbart. The music swells and the swans turn on their captor. They are freed from the spell when Siegfried and Odette jump into the lake together. Von Rothbart is stricken down by the eternal love between Odette and Siegfried.


Our Principals for the 2013 Performance of Swan Lake were:-

Phillip Velinov

Phillip Velinov

Born in Bulgaria’s capital, Phillip started his training at the State Choreographic School in Sofia and later transferred to the Alabama School of Fine Arts on a full scholarship. Upon graduation, he joined the Alabama Ballet and later won the first full performing arts scholarship in the 150-year history of Birmingham-Southern College completing a B.A. with honors in Dance.

Phillip has had the honor to study and work with Maestro Roumen Rachev, Dame Sonia Arova, Thor Sutowsky, Professor Mira Popovich, Vladilen Simeonov and Irina Kolpakova. He was a soloist with Ballet Internationale (Indianapolis) prior to joining the Louisville Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. Phillip received diplomas at the 1998 and 2002 Varna International Ballet Competions and won the 1998 Birmingham Fine Arts Society Award for Excellence in Dance.

Repertoire highlights include a wide spectrum of roles: Albrecht in Giselle, the Golden Slave in Scheherazade; The Nutcracker, Sugar Plum Cavalier and Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker; Nana the dog in Peter Pan, Basilio, Espada, Gamache and Lorenzo in Don Quixote, Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty, Doctor Coppelius in Coppélia; Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream; as well as George Balanchine’s Agon, Lila York’s Celts, and “That’s Life” in Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs.

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Natalia Ashikhmina

Natalia Ashikhmina

Born in Bratsk, Russia, Natalia graduated from the world-renowned Novosibirsk Ballet Academy studying under Tatiana Sulimova and Tatiana Kapustina. She accepted Vyacheslav Gordeyev's invitation and became the youngest prima ballerina of the Russian National Ballet in Moscow where she worked with Andrey Kudeline and partnered with Yuri Burlaka.

Five years later, Eldar Aliev offered Natalia a principal position with Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis where she worked with legends Irina Kolpakova and Vladilen Simeonov. Natalia joined the Louisville Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. Here, she has the privilege of working with Bruce Simpson, Helen Starr, Alun Jones, Harald Uwe Kern and a multitude of wonderful choreographers and stagers.

Her repertoire includes Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle Giselle, Nikiya La Bayadere, Belle Beauty and the Beast, Zabeida Scheherazade, The Sylph La Sylphide, Kitri Don Quixote, Daisy Andre Prokovsky’s The Great Gatsby, The Dying Swan, Helen Picket’s Etisian, Val Caniparoli’s Vivacé and over 100 performances as Odette/Odile Swan Lake.

Natalia won the Audience Award at the 1998 International Ballet Competition Arabesque, a gold medal at the 1999 Competition of Professional Ballet Academies in Russia, performed at the 2004 Gala des Etoiles in Montreal and holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Novosibirsk Choreographic College. She and her family now call Louisville home.

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