What takes 1,000 feet of tulle, 70 jeweled headdresses, 240 costumes (made with fabrics from Rome, Paris, and New York), and a German Renaissance-inspired stage design so grand that the sets had to be built and painted at special studios in upstate New York and northern Virginia?Answer: the American Ballet Theatre's new $2.5 million full-length production of Swan Lake, celebrating the company's 60th anniversary. No work is more cherished than the haunting coming-of-age tale of an innocent prince whose doomed love for the swan queen leads him from passion to unwitting betrayal. To stage the ballet, ABT artistic director Kevin McKenzie is using the original Petipa/Ivanov choreography, set to Tchaikovsky's score. Among the dancers appearing as the swan queen and prince are Ashley Tuttle (above) and Angel Corella; Susan Jaffe and José Manuel Carreño; Nina Ananiashvili and Julio Bocca; Amanda McKerrow and Ethan Stiefel; and Julie Kent and Vladimir Malakhov. Sets and costumes are by Zack Brown, whose work is evocative, mystical, and eco-friendly (all the swan feathers are made of cloth). Swan Lake, the highlight of ABT's summer season (May 8-July 1), premieres May 19 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City; 212/362-6000.
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