North Ballet to present ‘Swan Lake of the Woods’ with Minnesota flavor

Students of the Repertoire Class rehearsed for the Swan Lake Suite at North Ballet. (Photo provided by North Ballet)


by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

Woods and lakes of Minnesota are incorporated in North Ballet Academy’s “Swan Lake of the Woods,” an adaption of “Swan Lake,” coming up in Elk River.

This original creation by Kimberly Norberg, the studio’s program director, will be presented  Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., at Zabee Theatre at Elk River High School.

“The creation of this piece,” said Katie Kocinski owner of Rogers-based North Ballet,  “is an artful combination of the beauty of the woods and lakes of Minnesota and the grace of the traditional ballet story of Swan Lake. Ms. Norberg’s unique idea will be brought to life by the students. All  are welcome to come experience Swan Lake, with a unique and fun Minnesota twist.”

The storyline centers on a  young hunter traveling through the lakes of Minnesota and encountering native wildlife. His journey concludes as he joins a large flock of gracefully dancing swans.
Students age 3 top 17 will perform 16 dances.

That includes  “Swan Lake Suite,” a 17-minute piece featuring re-staged excerpts from Swan Lake, as well as an original piece  choreographed and performed by upper-level students Allison Clawson, 17, of Princeton, and Samantha Currie, 16, of Monticello.

Act I  will include a lecture-demo on the structure of the Russian-based ballet syllabus used at North Ballet, explaining students’ progression and development across each of the levels of the Complete Classical Ballet Program.

Act II is when the main storyline unfolds.

Jacob Walters, 11, of Coon Rapids, is the hunter. He’ll also dance in the modern “rainstorm” piece.
Clawson and Currie will dance solo variations of Swan Lake and several other classical ballet and modern dance pieces. Currie assists with a dance for younger students. Clawson is an instructor for the Developmental Division. She has choreographed several of the Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet dances in the performance.

North Ballet will present its first annual awards ceremony tonight (Saturday) at the Little Theatre, from 5 to 6 p.m., to recognize the achievements of students. Original pieces choreographed by Complete Classical Ballet Program students will be presented.