Saturday, March 29, 2008

American Ballet Theatre's 'Swan Lake'

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE didn't create dreadful productions of the three full-length Tchaikovsky classics simply by blind obedience to tradition. No, in revising and restaging "Swan Lake," "The Nutcracker" and "The Sleeping Beauty," artistic director Kevin McKenzie worked hard at cluttering the narratives with bizarre new plot twists and special effects, even sometimes messing with the music via resequencing and interpolation.

But Thursday, when his 8-year-old "Swan Lake" returned to Southern California for the start of a five-performance run at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, his greatest crimes (or sins, if you consider the genuine 1895 "Swan Lake" to be holy writ) were those committed against his dancers.

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