"Swan Lake"

The Joffrey Ballet presents "Swan Lake" through Oct. 28 at The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.

Those fond of classical ballet often consider "Swan Lake" a favorite.

Whether you fall into that category or are a new fan of dance, The Joffrey Ballet is presenting the classical work this season for all to enjoy.

The Joffrey Ballet presents Christopher Wheeldon's "Swan Lake" through Oct. 28 at The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. It opens the troupe's 2018-19 season.

The acclaimed company first performed Wheeldon's "Swan Lake" in 2014. The Joffrey had never performed a production of "Swan Lake" prior to that season.

"Coming back to it after four years, the company understands it a lot more. They're really well-prepared," said Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet. "They have found more depth (in it)."

Traditionally, "Swan Lake" tells the Romeo and Juliet-like tale of love found, love lost, mistaken identities, and heartbreak. It revolves around Prince Siegfried and the dual swans Odette/Odile offering a story blending good versus evil, deception, love and illusion. The tale is set to Tchaikovsky's lush score.

Wheeldon's rendition of "Swan Lake" is a fascinating work as it showcases a type of "story within a story." The choreographer's ballet is set in 19th century Paris, opening with a scene in a ballet studio. Wheeldon bases the ballerinas on those one would find in a Degas painting.

Wheater said the entire company, including seven new members, will be part of the production, which is done in four acts.

The artistic director said Wheeldon's work is beautiful. "He was inspired by the paintings of Degas," Wheater said, adding Degas is considered the most prolific painter of ballet subjects.

"We had a good rehearsal period," Wheater said, about the company's preparation for "Swan Lake."

"We're excited to begin the season," he said.

In addition to working on "Swan Lake," Wheater said The Joffrey also is working on "Anna Karenina," scheduled to be presented in February. "The Nutcracker" will be performed Dec. 1 to 30.

FYI: "Swan Lake" continues through Oct. 28 at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Tickets are $35 to $195. Visit joffrey.org.


Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.