Kristopher Wojtera proposing to Erica De La O.
Photo – David Toczko
By Kathi E.B. Ellis.
Entire contents are copyright © 2013 Kathi E.B. Ellis. All rights reserved

At the Saturday matinee of the Louisville Ballet’s season opener Swan Lake, the audience, who had already given a standing ovation to the performance, were privy to a surprise after the curtain call. Artistic Director Bruce Simpson took to the stage and addressed the audience. He talked about the importance of both individuality and community as an artist, referencing the main dancers of the afternoon: Erica De La O (Odette/Odile) and Kristopher Wojtera (Siegfried) who, he reminded us, have danced with the company for ten years. He invited Mr. Wotjera to say a few words. As Mr. Simpson handed the microphone to him, realization began to creep through the Whitney. Holding a small box, Mr. Wotjera announced to Ms. De La O (and more than two thousand delighted audience members) his love for her and, kneeling to her, he asked her to be his wife. Company and audience alike broke into delighted applause, and a surprised Ms. De La O nodded. In true ballet fashion she executed a graceful curtsey to him before they embraced each other – a fitting coda to the afternoon’s love story.