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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Swan Lake+ Questions

Guest jxjanman

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Guest jxjanman


I've got a few questions about the ballet "Swan Lake". Since my dance school in Toronto (canada), (Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance) we are doing at the end of this year.

1) Are there roles/parts for boys (like me) in the ballet "Swan Lake"???

2) What is Swan Lake all about?

I appreciate any help at all. Thanks.

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Hi, Jan!


There are parts for boys in "Swan Lake," but every production is different, so I don't know what your version will have. Aside from Prince Siegfried and the Evil Magician Rothbart, there's Benno, the Prince's friend (in some productions) or a Jester. There's a man's part in the very difficult pas de trois in the first act, there are folk dances and ballroom dances in the third act, and there are lots of courtiers and peasants in the first and third acts, so there's a lot of opportunity for dancing. Schools generally try to make sure that their pupils are used when they do a ballet, so there will probably be parts for boys.


Here's a place to start reading about "Swan Lake." We have some information on our site, at this link:




Two books that you should be able to find (ask your librarian or school librarian) are: "Ballet 101," by Robert Greskovic and "Balanchine's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets" by George Balanchine and Francis Mason. There is a lot of information about both of them.


There are also videos of "Swan Lake" available, danced by several companies: the Kirov, the Bolshoi, the Royal, and American Ballet Theatre, among others. Each production is different, but they'll give you an idea. You may be able to borrow videos at your library, or rent them from a local video store.


Have fun smile.gif

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Dag-nab if I wasn't going to answer this myself, buy The Boss (and a mighty good boss she is!) beat me to it!


Alexandra has explained the principal male roles in Swan Lake perfectly. And the link she posted is to an article I wrote back on the main site. It was a labor of love. Enjoy.


If you're not Benno or Siegfried, try for the lead couple in the Czardas (Hungarian Dance) - meatiest dancing roles in the whole thing, in my opinion.


PS. and what is it about? About two hours total curtain-up time, if it's done right. wink.gif


[ January 01, 2002: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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