Yesterday afternoon we went to the Theatre Royal to see the Russian State Ballet and Orchestra perform Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It was superb.
It takes a while to realise who is whom and what the story is [even knowing it before hand] because it is the nuances of movement and mild gestures that take the place of dialogue. I wil admit though that the very traditional costuming emphasised every leg muscle and movement, the bums of steel and a seam that a proctologist would need instruments to find! The simplicity of costume and set focused the viewer and drew you further in. The agility and presence of these dancers was astounding, the poise, grace and softness of them was melting. Little do you truly realise how much time is spent holding a position, or being balanced on one foot. It was not acrobatic, ballet should not be in my opinion]. We hope they return again next year, as we sould certainly go and see another of their performances.
Swan Lake is a good v evil love story. Odette is a swan by day and beautiful lady by night, Sebastian is the heir-aparent Prince who has come of age and must seek a wife [or Mother will]. He finds and falls in love with Odette, whose spell can only be broken by a true love, but they are spied by the evil Rothbart. At the Grand Ball where the Queen has assembled the most beautiful princesses from whom Sebastian must choose, a last minute stranger appears, Rothbart and his black swan, looking and dancing exactly like Odette, Sebastian becomes enchanted by this doppleganger Odil and professes love and agrees to marry. Discovering too late that he has been duped he returns to the Lake and to Odette.
There are several different endings. This performance went with the heartbroken Prince fighting with the evil Rothbart resulting in them both being drowned, leaving Odette alone to grieve for her lost true love.