A magical new Swan Lake
October 31, 2019 | Behind the Scenes
There could not be a more fitting finale for the IGNITE @ the FORD! series than Michael Keegan-Dolan’s version of Swan Lake, or Loch na hEala, a co-presentation with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.
Curated by Ford Theatres Executive Director Olga Garay-English, the IGNITE series has, for the last three seasons, been bringing to the Ford stage world-renowned artists who excite the senses and break the mold. Over the last two months alone, IGNITE has included the impeccable and irreverent award-winning flamenco dancer Olga Pericet; artist Hassan Hajjaj, who blew up the rock star model with a live version of his My Rockstars Experimental video series; and Oaxaca-based Lila Downs, a rock star in her own right, whose vocal prowess and range showed off her eclectic musical mastery.
Keegan-Dolan’s very Irish reimagining of Swan Lake, titled Loch na hEala, is set in the present in “a world where ancient stories are ingrained in mist, bog and stone but where the politics and stridency of modern Ireland beget their own wild dramas,” according to The Guardian. “He’s used this world to superb effect in works such as Giselle and The Bull but with this new reimagining of Swan Lake, he elevates it to a place of bleak, funny and astoundingly poetic beauty.”
Garay-English experienced the magic of the piece when it debuted at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells. “I was mesmerized by Michael’s artistry from the moment I witnessed his fantastical take on the ballet classic Giselle at the 2003 Dublin International Festival. Since then, I have been a fan,” said Garay-English. “So, when I read the outstanding reviews of his interpretation of the classic Swan Lake, I had to see for myself. I am so pleased that CAP UCLA has joined forces with the Ford Theatres to bring Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Loch na hEala to SoCal’s adventurous audiences.”
Keegan-Dolan weaves storytelling, song and live music, bringing in the Dublin-based band Slow Moving Clouds, instead of using the classic Tchaikovsky music, to create a new score, combining Nordic and Irish traditional music with minimalist and experimental influences. The end result is a swan song you will not want to miss.
Michael Keegan-Dolan/Teaċ Daṁsa’s Loch na hEala (Swan Lake) takes place at CAP UCLA’s Royce Hall on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Go here to buy tickets.