‘Swan Lake’ in Surrey sets stage for injured ballerina’s ‘miracle’ return

Dance show brought to Surrey Arts Centre by Coastal City Ballet

Diego Ramalho and Sakura Inoue in Coastal City Ballet’s production of “Swan Lake

SURREY — Lucila Munaretto has a small role on stage in Surrey, but it’s a large step forward for a dancer on the mend.

Doctors originally thought she may not survive a roller-skating accident in North Vancouver last summer, but here she is dancing again in Coastal City Ballet’s production of “Swan Lake.”

The show will be staged Friday, June 10 at Surrey Arts Centre.

The presenting company’s artist director, Li Yaming, marvels how Munaretto, originally from Argentina, survived the crash and has strived so hard to dance once more.

“It’s a miracle in many ways,” he told the Now. “Nobody believed she was able to dance, but she slowly started walking and talking and wanted to dance again, one step at a time. A couple of months ago she began taking some classes and she was able to move around, and that’s how it all started.”

Last August, Munaretto (PICTURED) was struck by a car while roller skating to visit a friend.

“She’s very happy, and we all are happy that she’s part of the production, dancing and not just walking around,” Yaming noted. “Ever since the accident she’s not only working harder, she’s able to appreciate every opportunity in life, in dance.”

In Coastal City’s “Swan Lake,” choreographer Irene Schneider presents a modern twist on the ballet classic, set to the music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

In this show, she “explores the human emotion of a romantic love contrasted against a realistic and practical love of an arranged marriage,” according to the company’s description of the two-hour production.

Coastal City Ballet is a repertory company that has staged several performances in Surrey since its inception in 2011, including its version of “Cinderella” last year at this time.

“It was close to a full house” that May afternoon at the arts centre in 2015, Yaming said.

“The audience was also very professional and enthusiastic and we liked it, so we are returning there.

“Swan Lake” is a slightly larger production than “Cinderella,” he noted.

“We were a little worried about the size of the stage (at Surrey Arts Centre),” he said, “so we’ve been looking at that to make sure everything goes smoothly, because we have just one day to set up there.”

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

 

As for Munaretto, who celebrated her 21st birthday last December, an online campaign (at Gofundme.com/Lucila) has raised close to $44,000 for her medical recovery.

“‘Swan Lake’ is a difficult ballet for any dancer, let alone one recovering from some kind of injury,” reads a post on the website.

“We will ensure that Lucila dances in ‘Swan Lake,’ but it may not end up being the role she’s currently aiming for. However, just the idea that she will dance in this ballet brightens Lucila’s spirits immensely and sometimes that little bit of hope can light a fire.”

Tickets for “Swan Lake” at Surrey Arts Centre range from $25 to $35, with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Show time on June 3 is 8 p.m.

For tickets and more show details, visit Coastalcityballet.com or Tickets.surrey.ca.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

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