Before line of swans facing center, Siegfried faces right, holding Odette’s waist as she bends over on right leg, left leg up

Meet the Artist: Debra Sowell, PhD

Meet the Artist: Debra Sowell, PhD

On America’s first full-length Swan Lake

Visiting Scholar Debra H. Sowell, PhD, offers a lively description of America’s first full-length Swan Lake, produced by the San Francisco Ballet in 1940, and choreographed by Artistic Director, Willam Christensen. She begins by describing the role of a dance historian, and references the interviews she conducted in preparing her book The Christensen Brothers, An American Dance Epic, the definitive biography of the three brothers, Willam, Harold, and Lew.

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Helgi Tomasson’s Swan Lake was part of SF Ballet’s 2022 Repertory Season. It was performed in Program 7, from April 29–May 8, 2022.

Header Image: San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Swan Lake // © Erik Tomasson