I am a huge opera, ballet and classical music fan, and Tchaikovsky is one of my all time favourite composers. His three ballets "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Nutcracker" are not only musical masterpieces but timeless in terms of story. This production of "Swan Lake" is exquisite, helped enormously by the superlative ballet score, the enchanting fairy-tale like story and the dazzling choreography.
The score is just masterful, simply put it is the heart and soul of the ballet, and shows clearly what a genius Tchaikovsky was. There are so many highlights here, the beautiful Pas De Deux(though I have heard and seen complaints in regards to the slow conducting), the Waltz, Dance of the Swans and the spine tingling climax. The story is timeless, about the love of a prince and a princess(who is seen as a swan by day), overcoming the obstacles of the evil Rothbart. As I have said the choreography here is dazzling, a vast majority of it is fiendishly difficult but the dancers make it look easy. I am especially talking about Dance of the Swans, if anybody makes a mistake in that, it is noticed right away.
Also worth of mention is the beautiful art direction. The sets gave the production an enchanting and suitably fairy-tale like feel. The costumes were also gorgeous, Natalya Makarova looks like a true princess in that white ballerina dress. And the lighting was spot on pretty much. But other than the music, what made the production was the dancing. Natalya Makarova is absolutely stunning as Odette, she has an amazing back that is put to exceptional use-she is so flexible, and beautiful arm and leg lines. She is even better as Odile, where she is very cunning and seductive, like Odile should be. Anthony Dowell plays Siegfried as dashing, charming and somewhat naive, and it suits him well. And Rothbart is still the sinister and imposing villain that I have come to remember him by.
Overall, this production is a must see! 10/10 Bethany Cox
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