By Mike Dunham
This time, however, the swan and her swain come from a Yup'ik village. Their nemesis, intent on keeping the girl for himself, is no one less than the powerful trickster, Raven. The usual balletic pirouettes and plies are augmented by Yup'ik Eskimo drumming and dance.
"We wanted to introduce a story ballet, but we knew we didn't want to restage 'Swan Lake,' " said Codie Costello, the executive director of Alaska Dance Theatre. "But reading through it again, we began to think about how we could merge it with Alaska Native stories."
The thread of humans transforming to animals and vice versa, for instance, is a recurring feature in both European fairy tales and Native lore.