The ballet, Swan Lake, tells a story so classical, and so classically familiar, that it seems immune to the erosion, or even the severe weathering, of time. And much of that eternal quality, certainly for local audiences, is due to the glorious elegance of the Texas Ballet Theater's periodic presentation of the danced tale.

Ever a crowd favorite, Swan Lake is steeped in the emotion, the dark and the light, of Russian folklore. The production's legion of leading and background dancers leap and pas de deux through the love-soaked story of a young Odette, transformed into a swan by the redoubtably evil, Von Rothbart. Odette's new physical incarnation is no impediment to her falling hard for the dashing Prince Siegfried. This sets the stage for one of either theater or ballet's ultimate star-crossed-lovers' dilemmas: Von Rothbart actually tries to fool Prince Siegfried into believing that Odile, a sorcerer's daughter, is really his true love, Odette. This venal scheme actually does compel Siegfried to profess his love for Odile, leaving Odette to sink into despair and disappointment.

When Texas Ballet Theater last offered Swan Lake, not only were the dramatic and emotional elements delivered with depth and persuasion, but the technical pyrotechnics of the choreography were also presented with enormous brio and perfectly in tune with the emotional requirements of each scene.

An added bonus of this year's performance is that the always able Texas Ballet Theater troupe will be accompanied by the equally gifted Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the better to coordinate each of Tchaikovsky's specifically chosen notes with every leap and landing of every dancer.

Details: Swan Lake at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce Street in downtown, Fort Worth. It runs from May 30th-June 1, with an individual performance running time of two hours, five minutes. Ticket prices: Starting at $15. More information: 817-763-0207; www.texasballettheater.org

Ballet