Swan Lake – The Imperial Russian Ballet

Published on: October 17, 2012

Filled Under: Theatre

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A full house came to see the Imperial Russian Ballet perform the classic Swan Lake at ASB Theatre, Auckland last weekend.

With a whole breadth of ages you could feel an electricity of excitement in the air. However I was left feeling slightly under dressed once I saw some of the younger audience members in their best party dresses.

This Russian ballet, first performed in 1877, is probably the most famous ballet in the world with its instantly recognisable score and angelic white tutus.

If you don’t know the story of Swan Lake it is one that will transport you to a magical world full of sorcery, love, betrayal and the most gracious and wonderful dances, which will satisfy every balletic need.

Presented in three acts, this much loved classic sees that The Evil Genius, Von Rothbart, has bewitched pretty young girls into graceful swans. This spell will only be broken once someone falls in love with the queen of swans, Princess Odette.

Following his birthday celebrations Prince Siegfried’s mother tells him he needs to choose a bride the following night. In his distress at not being able to marry for love he takes to the woods with a crossbow to hunt. As he watches the Swans by the enchanted lake he sees a beautiful maiden appear, Odette, who tells him of the evil spell and thus begins their love story.

The course of true love never does run smooth, and Odette and Sigfried are no exception as Rothbart tricks Sigfried to betray Odette.

However their love is strong enough to triumph over the Evil!

This production follows the original storyline with the happy ending which was decreed by Soviet rule in the 1930′s, during the reign of then Russian Leader Stalin.

This is a captivating story and a feast for both the eyes and ears.

The performances from the cast are beyond awe inspiring and they evoked some wonderful reactions from the audience. One particular little girl sitting next to me actually could not contain her excitement as she jumped up and down on her chair when The Swan Queen danced.

The villains of the piece, Von Rothbert and daughter Odile, were equally brilliant at bringing about the chaos and drama of spells and betrayal.

Other crowd pleasers where the court jester characters who filled the stage with energetic and almost circus like dances bringing about applause, cheers and laughter.

Obviously you expect a great performance from the Imperial Russian Ballet but it really has to be said how talented and graceful a performance they give. The principle cast where phenomenal and really had the audience hanging on their every move casting their own magical spell.

This is a beautiful classic Russian story told by the best of Russia’s ballerinas. It will leave you wanting to pirouette out of the theatre! A definite 5 star experience!

Don’t worry if you missed them during this tour of New Zealand as the Imperial Russian Ballet will return in 2013 to perform an ensemble from many of the most famous ballets.