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Swan Lake, Portage, Wisconsin

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One day this summer, a friend's t-shirt stopped me dead in my tracks. It bore the words: "Swan Lake, Portage, Wisconsin."

Needless to say, I felt it my duty to look into this matter at once, so I questioned her closely. How many swans had she seen on the lake, I asked. Were there, by any chance, 32? (Or 24?) Had one of them ever been observed to be wearing a crown? Was there a castle in the area? Did any of the locals hunt with cross bows? And had anyone ever spotted an aggressive large-winged owl (with a liking for tutus) in the vicinity?

My friend's answers to these questions, I'm sorry to say, were vague and unsatisfactory. I had to conclude that this was not the Swan Lake I had been looking for.

How many Swan Lakes could there be, I wondered, switching on my computer and calling up a search engine.

Quite a lot, as it happened. In fact, there were Swan Lakes EVERYWHERE.

My researches quickly turned up a Swan Lake Waterfowl Society in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And in Plymouth, Indiana, I was invited to join a sort of Swan Lake club, which promised to improve my game of golf. Swan Lake Communications, meanwhile, was offering religious shareware (and clip art for Christians). (I couldn't help but wonder what Von Rothbart would have made of that.) Then there were the Swan Lake Estates in Titusville, Florida - and the Swan Lake Village and RV Resort in Fort Myers, Florida (the latter catering for retired swans, I assume).

After that I found a Swan Lake bed and breakfast in Southeast Alaska and a Swan Lake Christian Camp in South Dakota. My favourite discovery, however, was the Swan Lake Presbyterian Church ("Coming soon: Swan Lake Men of God"). But I was also attracted by the list of amenities at the Swan Lake Guest Cabins in Montana. (Has the meaning of "Swan Lake" completely eluded me, I asked myself. Could the corps de ballet's deep distress in Act 4 have been caused by their inability to find the microwave, or the gas barbecue?)

Yes, yes, all right. I was getting carried away. Time to turn off the search engine.

But I couldn't help wondering whether any visitors to Ballet Alert had chosen to live in (or near) a Swan Lake? It would, after all, seem a natural place for a ballet fan.

Hmm. Lakes with swans on them must be fairly common, after all. But were there geographical locations for other ballet titles? Can anyone find me a "Giselle", "Nutcracker", "Paquita"...etc etc???

Over to you, ballet fans.

- Wendy

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Great topic, Wendy -- but no one will be able to top "Swan Lake Men of God" :mad:

I did the same search the first weekend I was on the internet -- it seemed like a logical place to start to find ballet sites. I was struck by the number of resorts with the name (and the number of skaters' web sites it turned up, too). I hope someone with extra time on his or her hands will do a zip code or goggle search for other ballet towns, as Wendy suggests.

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I also found towns called Swan Lake in Idaho, Montana and Nebraska. William Byrd Park in Richmond, VA has a lake called Swan Lake.

In Canada, there are lakes called Swan Lake in Manitoba and Yukon Territory. Manitoba also has a town called Swan Lake (nowhere near the lake of that name). Saskatchewan has a set of lakes called Swan Lakes.

There is also a lake by that name in Victoria, Australia.


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