A! Magazine for the Arts

<strong>Kingsport native Erin Ginn is second from the left.</strong>

Kingsport native Erin Ginn is second from the left.

Kingsport Native dances in South Carolina Ballet's 'Swan Lake'

April 6, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Columbia City Ballet's 2006-2007 season closed with a spectacular performance of Swan Lake. Kingsport native Erin Ginn was one of the four little swans who dance with interlocked arms -- they must be in unison with every movement they make.

One of Erin's fellow dancers is one of the principal dancers with Columbia City Ballet, another is a soloist, and the third has been in the main company for a number of seasons. This was Erin's first season with Columbia City Ballet.

One of the world's most renowned ballets, Swan Lake is the tragic story of Princess Odette, cursed to take the form of a swan by day, and Prince Siegfried, who inadvertently seals her fate when he breaks his true love's vow after being tricked by Odette's evil look-alike, Odile.

Swan Lake is considered the greatest classical ballet of all time, as well as one of the most technically demanding. Columbia City Ballet has a long history with Swan Lake; it was the first full-length ballet the Company ever staged. In 1965, then-Artistic Director Ann Brodie danced the challenging role of Odette/Odile at Drayton Hall. This year's production is the product of a 42-year history with Swan Lake, and 2007 is the Company's seventh year bringing this classic to Columbia.

With its fantastical plot filled with romance, sorcery and betrayal, Swan Lake offers dancers the ultimate challenge of a dual role -- Odette, trapped in the body of a white swan while awaiting an oath of true love to set her free, and Odile, the temptress daughter of Baron Von Rothbart, who plots the to destroy the true love between Odette and Prince Siegfried.

George Balanchine, founder of New York City Ballet, once said, "To succeed in Swan Lake is to become overnight a ballerina." This is Cholkas' third time performing the role; she performed as Odette/Odile in Columbia City Ballet's 1995 and 2000 productions.