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A Very Richmond (And Wonderful) Swan Lake

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 12:00 am

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Richmond Ballet is staging a powerful rendition -- and very Richmond version -- of Swan Lake.

It’s the first time the Richmond Ballet has staged the romantic classic since 2004.

And for the first time, the principal dancers Siegfried and Odette are being performed by dancers trained at the Richmond Ballet – Shira Lanyl and Thomas Garrett.

An extremely difficult ballet to dance, artistic director Stoner Winslett explained during a media preview that Swan Lake typically demands the very best dancers… “and I think that they’re the very best.”

Born and raised in Richmond, Shira Lanyl started taking lessons at the Richmond Ballet when she was eight years old. Her older sister was forced into ballet for posture reasons and Lanyl tagged along. Little did she know it would change her life forever.

“I grew up in this building,” Lanyl said. “You always see the posters of the professional dancers on the wall. You never think [that will be me]. It’s a dream realized.”

Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Thomas Garrett came to the Richmond Ballet when he was 19 years old for the summer program and then stayed on as an apprentice, eventually becoming a company member.

“This is our first time doing Swan Lake,” Garrett said.

Although you won’t be able to tell.

We caught a sneak peek at their performance during a media preview and we were absolutely blown away by the performance.

Swan Lake will accompanied by live music from the Richmond Symphony. The costumes are from the San Francisco Ballet and have never been seen before in Richmond.

Shira and Tommy will perform the lead roles on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Visiting dancers from Australia’s Queensland Ballet will be performing the leads on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

For more Valentine's Day ideas, check out our Valentine's Day Guide!

Swan Lake

Feb. 8-10

Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage


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