It’s a birthday party for the prince! Prince Siegfried, that is, in Act 1 of Swan Lake at the Crown Center Theatre04-18-12-charlotte-blume.jpg on April 22, when North Carolina State Ballet presents Act 1 and Act 11 of Swan Lake in the Ballet Classics.

The production is directed by Charlotte Blume and will feature 30 plus dancers and actors. Guest art-ists, Melody Staples Hammell and John Tabbert, dance the roles of Odette the Swan Queen and Prince Siegfried.

Charlotte Blume and Assistant Director Wei Ni have staged Act 1 of Swan Lake for the first time since the North Carolina State Ballet presented a full four-act produc-tion of the piece in 1993. Additionally, Ni will present his new choreographed piece, Venus from Holst’s The Planets. Completing the program, Blume has re-staged the colorful dances from the prologue of Sleeping Beauty, which will star Annemarie Strickland as the Lilac Fairy.

Guest artist John Tabbert is currently with the Charleston Ballet Theatre and Melody Staples Hammell was formerly principal dancer with that company. In addition to Swan Lake, Hammell’s many dance roles include the sugar plum fairy in the Nutcracker, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. This is her seventh season with the North Carolina State Ballet as Odette.

In Act I of Swan Lake, the prince is celebrating his 21st birthday with friends and members of the court. The Queen Mother presents him with a cross bow for hunting as his birthday gift. She reminds him it is time to choose a bride. The prince leaves on a hunting trip with friends. Act I of Swan Lake will feature Ashley Watters, Daniel Rivera and Mary Maxton Fowler in the Pas de Trois and Anne Talkington and Thomas McGill in the Waltz. Assistant Director, Wei Ni, will dance a cameo role.

In Act II, the hunting party finds a mist-covered lake in the forest where they see swans circling and landing. Just as Prince Siegfried is about to shoot a swan she magically turns into a girl. She has been transformed into a swan along with the others by the evil Rothbart, who assumes the form of an owl. If Rothbart dies, the girls remain swans forever. Only true love for the Swan Queen can break the spell. Siegfried promises his love. With hope renewed, dawn approaches and the girls return to the lake.

Tickets for the Ballet Classics April 22, may be purchased at the Crown Center Box Office or through ticketmaster.com. This is a military discount at the box office with ID. Curtain time is 3 p.m.

Photo: The Ballet Classics is directed by Charlotte Blime and features more than 30 dancers.

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