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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Ballet San Antonio's "Black Swan" Talks Opening Night At Tobin Center

Alexander Devora

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens in grand style next Thursday but this Thursday I spoke to to Sarah Pautz, principle dancer for Ballet San Antonio, who has a lot on the line that night.

As you’d expect, she’s a slight, delicate-looking person. But that look is deceptive. She’s muscular, determined and focused. The opening program on Thursday is a series of excerpts from popular productions, such as "Swan Lake."

“I’m portraying the Black Swan. I’m dancing the Black Swan pas de duex from 'Swan Lake,' " she said. "It’s really fun, full of energy. A very challenging role, technically and artistically.”

I asked her to detail its physical and technical challenges.

“The Black Swan has to seduce the Prince. And that feeling: that character has to run throughout her dance with him," said Pautz. "Meanwhile I have to do all these technical elements which also require a major part of my brain and body, so I feel like I’m multi-tasking. I have to do these steps beautifully and perfectly, but I also have to maintain throughout that thread, that character of drawing him in for it to be successful.”

We spoke at the Ballet Conservatory, where Ballet San Antonio was going through its moves in front of San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing. I asked her how she hoped Thursday night would play out.

“I’ve had shows that are technically perfect. I’ve had shows that are less than perfect," she said, "and I’ve also had shows that I surprised myself, and something came out in my dancing that I didn’t necessarily rehearse; something that moved me and the audience. I’m hoping that will happen.”

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii