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SNB Performs Swan Lake at the Eldorado as Part of Artown

Published June 17, 2022

SNB Performs Swan Lake at the Eldorado as Part of Artown

by Rosine Bena

This summer marks a very special time for Sierra Nevada Ballet.

The company will perform the famous classic ballet, Swan Lake, at the beautiful  Eldorado Showroom in Reno as part of Reno’s Artown Festival on July 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. 

When I first came to Nevada in 1992 to guest perform with the Tahoe Arts Project, I was really surprised by the experience of performing a classical ballet pas de deux in a casino. I had performed on great Opera house stages all over the world and throughout the USA, from the New York Met Opera House at Lincoln Center on the East Coast to the San Francisco Opera House on the West Coast. But I had never performed on a casino stage and was surprised when I was told that ballet was often performed in casinos in Nevada due to a limited number of performance venues. 

That first experience made me think that it would be really nice to have an opera house type theater created within a casino. 

Later, after directing The Reno Ballet and then founding Sierra Nevada Ballet, I looked into the different performance venues in the area and found that there was a classic theater built within a casino.

The beautiful Eldorado Showroom was designed much like the interior of a small European opera house, as it was intended to bring first class entertainment to the Reno area. The showroom provides an intimate experience with no obstructed views and was the first proper theatre built in a casino in northern Nevada. It was completed and opened in 1997 with the first production Smokey Joe’s Café direct from Broadway. 

Jen Dominique is the Executive Director of Entertainment and VIP Services at the Eldorado and has been on staff since the Showroom opened. She loves to share her experiences.

Live entertainment is very special to me,” said Dominique. “There is never a dull moment and never the same show on the Showroom stage. It’s truly magical to see all the elements of the set, lighting, rigging with the beautiful costumes come together to create a vision for the audience. A lot of love, sweat, and tears have been poured into the Showroom stage over the years.”

The interior of the Showroom is the perfect setting for ballet, but surprisingly not much dance has been performed there. Dominique told me: “Aside from (Mikhail) Baryshnikov to grace the Eldorado stage, we only had a show back in 2008 called Floor Play. The true classical dancers in that production went on to perform on Dancing with Stars. Peta Murgatroyd and Sharna Burgessare are the most notable dancers from Floor Play.”

I asked Dominique about her favorite experiences being part of this beautiful venue.

“I have many great memories, having been involved with so many phenomenal shows,” Dominique said. “Seeing the excitement on people’s faces attending our shows is the most rewarding thing for me.”

I imagine all the performers who experience the Showroom feel the same excitement as the audiences. The venue is spectacular in its own right. The stage is very spacious and wonderful, and the backstage and dressing rooms are a performer’s dream come true. 

All of us at SNB have long wanted to perform at the Eldorado Showroom, and we are very honored to have been invited to perform Swan Lake there this summer. We believe this venue is the perfect indoor setting for this hauntingly ethereal classical ballet. Dominique and the Eldorado staff share our enthusiasm.

“We are delighted at the opportunity to work with SNB and excited to feature this classic piece through the vision and artistic direction of Rosine Bena and Ananda Bena-Weber,” said Dominique.

Our SNB company has begun work on this timeless story ballet filled with drama, sorcery, seduction, bravery, and devotion with a strong message. Swan Lake is one of the earliest ballets, and highlights the human struggle between the pure love of the soul and the seductive attraction of worldly life. 

We at SNB are ecstatic to share this magical experience of Swan Lake at the Eldorado with Nevada audiences. 

“We are delighted that SNB’s Swan Lake at the Eldorado will be part of Artown this summer,” said Beth Macmillan, Artown Executive Director. “It is a magical ballet with a wonderful company of dancers performing at a beautiful venue.” 

SNB will be perform Swan Lake in Reno as part of Artown at the Eldorado on July 22 (www.ticketmaster.com); at the Sand Harbor venue on the Lake Tahoe as part of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival on July 25 (www.laketahoeshakespeare.com), and at the Carson City Community Center on August 6. For ticket information visit www.sierranevadaballet.org or call SNB at 775-360-8663.

Rosine Bena is the founding artistic director of Sierra Nevada Ballet.

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