Press Releases

Swan Lake debuts in Harrisburg 

The world’s most beloved ballet comes to the Whitaker stage for the first time!

Carlisle, Pa. (March 2, 2011)– Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) continues its 55th anniversary season with the staging of Laszlo Berdo’s grand, full-length Swan Lake. The performance runs April 9-10 at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.

Recounting the struggles and triumphs of love in the beautiful and tragic taleof a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer, Berdo’s basis for this new production is Marius Petipa’s original choreography.

Swan Lake, set to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s remarkable score, is deemed the most important and compelling of full-length classical ballets, captivating audiences for more than 130 years. Some of classical music’s most recognizable passages and classical ballet’s most renowned choreography have come together to establish this ballet’s place in the ballet hierarchy. Yet the story, which was originally commissioned for the Bolshoi Ballet in 1875, was not an instant hit.

It wasn’t until 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, that Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov presented what is now considered the standard version of Swan Lake. The Petipa/Ivanov work marked the start of a triumphant procession of works around the world that has been embraced as part of today’s popular culture. Berdo’s three act version follows in the tradition of stagings by such notable choreographers as Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Christopher Wheeldon.

“One of the reasons for my own career is because of classics like Swan Lake,” said Berdo. “I really want the students to have a greater appreciation for the complexities of performing a full-length ballet. The roles of Odette and Siegfreid demand not only technical virtuosity but also a deep emotional commitment. It’s an exciting time to see our students rise to new levels and discover what it really means to be an artist.”

Ethereal swans illuminated by moonlight, charged solos for Prince Siegfried and Odette and her alter-ego Odile, the evil sorcery of von Rothbart and a palace ball where trickery leaves tragedy as the Prince’s only means left to break the spell—all combine to make this Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet production of Swan Lake an unforgettable experience filled with passion and romance.

“In bringing Swan Lake to the Whitaker Center, CPYB presents the final installment of Tchaikovsky’s ballet masterpieces—Balanchine’s Nutcracker, Hineline’s Sleeping Beauty and Berdo’s Swan Lake,” said CEO Alan Hineline.

CPYB will perform the timeless love story at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10. Tickets range from $12-$38 and can be ordered by calling 717.214.ARTS (2787) or visiting   

  CPYB is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Cultural Enrichment Fund.


MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers and staff about the performance. For more information, please contact Bonnie Schulte at 717.245.1191 or Coverage opportunities of performances are also available and must be set up through Bonnie Schulte.


About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Established in 1955 by Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a nationally and internationally recognized school of classical ballet headquartered in Carlisle, Pa. CPYB’s mission is to inspire, educate and enrich the lives of our students and the region through training in and the performance of classical ballet.

About Choreographer and Stager Laszlo Berdo
Berdo was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and began studying dance at the age of five. He intensified his studies at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. He danced for Ballet Austin, the Louisville Ballet under Alun Jones and Helen Starr, and Cincinnati Ballet under Ivan Nagy. Berdo joined the Boston Ballet in 1990 and became a principal dancer in 1995. As a principal, he danced numerous roles in ballets by Cranko, McMillan, Balanchine, Bournonville, Hynd and Stevenson. Berdo also excelled in contemporary works by Tharp, Taylor, Feld, Butler and York. He is honored to be the first to perform the lead role in Cranko’s Eugene Onegin in the United States.

Berdo began his choreography career in 1993. His works, which include the pas de deux Eternal Being, Four Hands, Below Down Under, Sanctuary, andBass Elements, have been performed for the Boston Ballet, International Ballet competition in Jackson, Mississippi, summer festival in Biarritz, France, Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo, Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, and Boston Conservatory. In 2001 he created Concertante for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s (CPYB) ChoreoPlan.

From 2000 to 2003 Berdo was a faculty member for the Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. He joined the full-time faculty of CPYB in 2003, for which he choreographed Snow White and premiered Peter Pan. He was most recently commissioned to present The Nutcracker for the Eglevsky Ballet, which premiered in December 2010. Berdo teaches in the United States and Europe for ballet companies, summer intensives and colleges. 



CPYB presents Swan Lake.pdf