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Homer dance studio to perform ‘Swan Lake’

Collin Drummel (left) and Alison Arima (right) rehearsing a dance from "Swan Lake" on April 21, 2024. The two dancers are part of a production of the ballet premiering on April 26.
Courtesy of Breezy Berryman
Collin Drummel (left) and Alison Arima (right) rehearsing a dance from "Swan Lake" on April 21, 2024. The two dancers are part of a production of the ballet premiering on April 26.

Springtime in Homer is marked by the return of sandhill cranes and various shorebirds. This year, a local dance school is bringing even more birds to the city with a production of “Swan Lake.”

The classic ballet production with music by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky follows the story of Odette, a young woman cursed to become a swan who falls in love with a prince. Homer-based studio Motivity Dance School is putting the dance together and features cast members as young as five years old.

Breezy Berryman founded the school and is a co-choreographer for the show. She said they planned to have it at the same time as the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, but the timing didn’t work out. Still, she said they pressed on to produce the show.

“We decided, ‘yeah, let's go for it and do a big production of Swan Lake,’” she said, “we had done ‘Alice in Wonderland’ last year at the theater. So I thought it'd be fun to do another spring ballet and something birds felt very spring-ish.”

“Swan Lake” is traditionally a large production with more than 120 dancers, but the school is putting things together with fewer than 40 dancers. They will keep the main characters like evil magician Von Rothbart. The school will even have Collin Trummel — a professional dancer from the Oregon Ballet Theater — as the male lead Prince Siegfried.

Alison Arima is the other choreographer for the production and will star as Odette. She said there are some challenges to having a smaller cast.

“It's going to be a lot more movement, trying to fill a space and fill it with character,” she said, “but I think these girls have worked very hard, and I think they will fill that space beautifully.”

Berryman and Arima also shortened the program and made some changes to the ending. Instead of the original three-act ballet, the show is cut to two acts and is roughly half the original run time of about three hours. It also includes dances with birds from other well-known ballets, such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Firebird.”

Arima said they are also changing the ending, which usually ends with the lead characters dying.

“It's a very tragic ending a lot of times,” she said, “there are other ballet companies that have made this a happier ending that has to do with Rothbart meeting some demise. But we'll, we'll keep our ending a secret for the time being.”

The school will have three shows from April 26-28 at the Mariner Theater.

More information can be found on the dance school’s Facebook page.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.
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