The Story of Swan Lake Shines at London’s Coliseum

This infamous tale hits the stage this new year with the English National Ballet’s enthralling production choreographed by Derek Deane.

A fluttering flock of white tutu-clad swans and an epic Tchaikovsky score will hypnotise you into this timeless love tragedy.

Performed for over 140 years, Swan Lake is arguably still the world’s most popular ballet ever created, with the first ever production performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1877, which was, interestingly, poorly received. By the twentieth century, the ballet’s popularity gained momentum internationally as Russian artists included it in their touring repertoire in the West.

As the romantic story of Prince Siegfried’s love for Swan Queen Odette unfolds, we first see Rothbart, an evil sorcerer and half-man, half-bird, turn the princess into a swan and condemn her to a life under his spell at the lakeside. Prince Siegfried is urged by his mother to get married but his heart has been taken by Odette. Later, he falls under the cunning and captivating spell of Odile, wicked Rothbart’s daughter, who is disguised as Odette and manages to trick him into breaking the pledge he has made for the Swan Queen. As the truth is revealed, Prince Siegfried rushes to Odette and begs for his forgiveness, which she eventually grants but as the tension ensues, it leads them both to take their lives and unite in eternal love.

Jurgita Dronina
Jurgita Dronina

The role of both Odette and Odile during the opening night was played by Jurgita Dronina, with her effortless grace, sleek and slender poises and powerful pirouettes.

Issac Hernandez in Swan Lake London
Isaac Hernandez

Isaac Hernandez stars as Prince Siegfried, displaying his incredible leaps, energy and strength throughout the performance. Another highly notable stars to watch out for is First Soloist Crystal Costa, full of sparkling vibrancy and brilliant poise.

Seamlessly choreographed iconic scenes of the flurry of swans dancing in perfect poise, enigmatic symmetry and unison showed off the dancers’ sheer skill and talent. The sheer fluidity of the gently flapping swan arms will be sure to keep your eyes fixated on the stage at all times, without wanting to ever miss a moment. You’ll also be excited by the lightness and synchronicity of the Dance of the Cygnets piece.

Costumes are kept classically elegant, understated and traditional, allowing the entire cast of performers to shine brightly with their vivacious yet delicate moves.

Music played live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic orchestra filled every nook and cranny of the large hall of The Coliseum, which brought Tchaikovsky’s gripping, emotive scores fully to life and perfectly mirrored the ballet dancers’ each and every move.

Brilliant for both ballet aficionados and newbies, Swan Lake plays at The London Coliseum until 13th January 2019. Book now to also see another critically-acclaimed romantic tragedy, Manon and the international tour of Akram Khan’s Giselle.

For more information visit: www.ballet.org.uk

Photography by Laurent Liotardo.

Swan Lake review by Reena Patel

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