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Today's Google Doodle? It's a 170th birthday present for Tchaikovsky

May 7, 2010 |  2:28 pm

Swanlake If you've been Googling today, you may have noticed that the Google Doodle -- the decorative riff on the search engine's home-page logo -- depicts a bevy of ballet dancers.

The moonlit scene -- a photo illustration representing members of the San Francisco Ballet in Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake"-- is Google's way of celebrating the 170th birthday of the Russian composer.

For the last 12 years, the company has noted special events, moments in history and the lives of inventors, artists and other famous people by creating such daily doodles. (An archive is viewable at www.google.com/logos.)

A team of doodlers comes up with most of the customized logos, although guest artists such as Eric Carle have contributed. Suggestions for subjects come from employees and Google users. (You can suggest an idea at proposals@google.com.) One of the few rules is that each design must incorporate the company name.

For the Tchaikovsky tribute, doodler Jennifer Hom told Culture Monster she watched video of a San Francisco Ballet production of "Swan Lake" and then worked with the troupe to pose dancers in ways that spelled out the letters in Google while staying true to the original choreography.

"We think we got across both that Tchaikovsky was a master of music and an innovator," says Hom. "That was something that appealed to both us and the San Francisco Ballet."

You can watch a video of how this doodle was created at http://www.sfballet.org/interact/watch/index.asp?bclid=49924290001&bctid=83453125001.

-- Karen Wada

Image credit: Google

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