Dancing With The Swans: The First Ever Swan 'Ballet' [PHOTOS]


The First Ever Performance of Swan Lake With Actual Swans

Swan, is the brain child of French choreographer, Luc Petton. This first-ever ballet, featuring performers with toe-shoes as well as webbed toes, will debut on June 6th in France and is definitely the black swan of performance art. It employs dancers of the feathery-variety - namely, swans!

Black swans and dancers

Rehearsal for Swan took began even before the swans were born and Petton hand picked his swans even before they were born and still nestled inside their eggs. Little did these feathered friends know they were destined for stardom. Upon hatching, Petton had his dancers live with the swans, getting both species of dancers familar and comfortable with each other.

[Related: Learn more about majestic swans and their history -- this site]

black swan and dancer

Pirouette. Pirouette. Now the gander.

Petton asserts that the dancers' time spent with the swans has revealed misconceptions about swan's behavior and movement. Marie-Agnès Gillot, a dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet told the NY Times that she also realized a classic arm gesture for flapping wings in “Swan Lake” is backward; and that it should be done by pumping arms from back to front. It has also given dancers an opportunity to encompass swan-like movement and beahavior, including a beating of the arms and a twitching of their feet.

Dominique Hervieu, who first invited Mr. Petton’s company to perform at the Chaillot theater was amazed “...at times you would see a swan behind a dancer, just the neck sticking out, as though they were fused,” she said. “These images take us into the realm of surrealism, hybridization, something nearly medieval," Hervieu related to the NY Times.

Although only limited European performances, Petton has stated that he plans on expanding his market to the United States using locally bred swans.

What do you think about using swans for this performance? Wonderful or Whacked?

swan and dancer

Swan on stage

- Janet McCulley

Follow fascinating, funny, tragic or otherwise compelling and timely stories about animals, as chosen by our editors and writers, including Daily Treat blogger, Janet McCulley.

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