Enchanting especially for Fonteyn, Nureyev and their chemistry, but a first choice?
Not for me. That has always been the 1982 production with Anthony Dowell as Siegfried. As a child I loved this Swan Lake. Re-visiting it at 20, it is not as good as I remember, with a generally second-rate corps-De- ballet and Nureyev's terribly over-the-top make-up as well as the treatment of the Black Swan music, yet there is still something fascinatingly enchanting about it. The costumes and sets do exude a fairy-tale atmosphere which I loved, while the video directing while straight-forward is effective. Perhaps though it does on occasions lack intimacy, due to lack of close-ups to accommodate Fonteyn(who in a way is past her very best), but at least it's still skillful and not superfluous. The choreography is wonderful, again to accommodate Fonteyn it is adapted to suit her, and has many fine moments, in particular the Pas-De-Deux which is exquisite in every way imaginable. The orchestral playing and conducting are first rate. As is Rudolf Nureyev, I found his Prince-like fashion generally noble if a tad effeminate at the start, and he is wonderfully masculine and handsome and one forgets any reservations like his make-ups when he dances as well as he does with a bravura charisma and beautiful lines. Margot Fonteyn is not at her best, with some of her movements a little slower and a couple of balance issues in Act 2, however on the most part she is very elegant in physique and in dancing, her style is impeccable and she plays Odette/Odile with great personality that even with some not-so-good moments it is so fascinating to watch her. In conclusion, definitely worth seeing but I'm hesitating personally to cite it as a first choice. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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