Orlando Ballet tackles 'Swan Lake' at the Dr. Phillips Center this weekend

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Not that we’re saying pop culture should be a motivational/educational force for the fine arts, but more often than not, it’s the case. A lot of people heard their first aria from Bugs Bunny’s cartoon mouth, and a lot went to their first ballet after seeing Darren Aronofsky’s creepy, Oscar-winning Black Swan. Aronofsky’s shadow-self struggle story does have its origins in the classic ballet Swan Lake, although the ballet is lacking in overt blood, broken glass and alcohol abuse … but hey, subtext. The clash between good and evil is integral to the ballet, too; it’s just slightly less violent. Artistic director Robert Hill tells us he’s compressed and reimagined the traditional choreography and eliminated a whole act, making this a sleeker, swifter Swan altogether. Live performance of the Tchaikovsky score by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra makes this a performance not to miss.

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | orlandoballet.org | $19-$99

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