The Story

It is Prince Siegfried's birthday and his mother presents him with a bow, as a gift. She is anxious that he should seek a wife and marry, but he refuses. He sees a flock of swans and decides to go hunting, alone.

On arrival in the forest, he is surprised to find out that the swan at whiche he was aiming is in fact, a woman, transformed into a swan-like form by the evil Baron Rothbart. She explains to Siegfried that she is the Queen of the Swans, Odette, and can only fully cecome a woman again when a man swears undying love for her to break the spell.

The angered Rothbart tricks Siegfried by taking his daughter, Odile, to the Prince's betrothal party, where he must choose a wife. Odile looks very similar to Odette and Siegfried swears his love for her, only to realize that he has been cruelly tricked, as the betrayed Odette appears.

Siegried follows Odette to the forest and pleads her forgiveness. Together, their love is strong enought to endure Rothbart's curse. Rothbart, now powerless, dies. Odette and Siegfried are united forever.

The visuals were stunning with a very ethereal feel and I was blown away

- Bracknell News -

The History

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was composed in 1875 as a commission by Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, the intendant of the Russian Imperial Theatres in Moscow. Like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake was unsuccessful after its first year or performance. Conductors, dancers and audiences alike thought Tchaikovsky's music was too complicated and difficult to dance to. The production's original Choreography by German ballet master, Julius Reisinger, was thought to be uninspiring and unoriginal.

Much is unknown about the original production of Swan Lake - no notes, techniques or instruction concerning the ballet were written down. Little has been found in letters and memos. It was not until after Tchaikovsky's death that Swan Lake was revived. Much of the Swan Lake we know today was a revision by the famous choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. We do know that Tchaikovsky had much control over the story's content. He and his colleagues both agreed that the swan represented womanhood in its purest form. the stories and legends of swan-maidens date as far back as ancient Greece; when the Greek god Apollo was born and flying swans circled above his head. Legends of swan-maidens can also be found in The Tales of the Thousand and One Nights,Sweet Mikhail Ivanovich the Rover and The Legend of the Children of Lir.

Swan Lake is known for it's demanding technical skill all because of one extrememly gifted ballerina, Pierina Lagnani. She performed with such grace and discipline; the audiences who saw her claimed she had set the standard. Legnani performed 32 fouett├ęs (a fast whipping turn on one foot) in a continuing sequence - a move many ballerinas resent due to its extreme difficulty. The prestige that comes from performing Swan Lake flawlessly is invaluable, as Swan Lake has gone on to become one of the most famous ballet productions of all time.

An excelent company of talented young dancers. Their energy and enthusiasm is breathtaking.

- ENTS24 -

Music by P.I Tchaikovsky

Choreography by Terence Etheridge

Duration: ~ 2 hours 30