There may be the finest of lines between “classic” and “dated,” but this cannot be said of the English National Ballet’s stylistic and hypnotic performance of Mariinsky’s Swan Lake; which last night opened with the first of 11 nights on stage at the London Coliseum.
The traditionalism of the Russian, folky Romeo and Juliet-esque tragedy and beautifully harrowing sweep of Tchaikovsky’s score reign supreme, as Prince Siegfried, our White and Black Swans (Odette/Odile) and the company of graceful dancers take to the stage.
I was lucky enough to attend the final dress performance and press preview on Tuesday night, on behalf or Sweaty Betty, the luxury fitness brand for whom the English National Ballet test their dance wear.
This unique way to view the performance meant I was both completely absorbed in the dancers as the story unfolded before me; while in almost Brechtian theatre style, was snapped back to reality when the director cut the artists mid flow, pulled them up on their imperfections, and had them start again.
Tickets to Swan Lake are available here ranging from £14 to £79 and is a must-see over the next 10 days.
Originally choreographed by Julius Reisinger, and famously composed by Tchaikovsky; Swan Lake is the story of Prince Siegfried’s love for the Swan Queen Odette and their battle against the evil sorcerer, Rothbart.
In the story Princess Odette is kidnapped by the wicked sorcerer Rothbart, who is half-man, half-bird. The evil sorcerer turns the Princess into a swan and condemns her to a life under his spell at the lakeside. Late in the afternoon of his birthday, Siegfried is left alone with his thoughts, he sees a flock of swans, where Odette, Queen of the Swans, appears and captivates Siegfried with her beauty. Rothbart returns and steals the Swan Queen, Odette, from the Prince’s embrace leaving Siegfried alone and desolate by the waters of the lake.
The fateful encounter with manipulative Odile, and beautifully tragic story is revealed in the English National Ballet’s acclaimed production of Swan Lake, on at the London Coliseum for the next 10 days only.
Beloved for its exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music, played by the Orchestra of English National Ballet, this Swan Lake is a thrill for the dedicated ballet fan or first-time ballet-goer.