You assume ballet, you assume Tchaikovsky. The Russian composer was the 19th century’s true grasp of dance music.

As we speak, Nutcracker, The Sleeping Magnificence and Swan Lake stay sure-fire hits for ballet corporations all over the world. It’s outstanding, then, that when Swan Lake was premiered in 1877, the reception it garnered was lukewarm at finest.

The story of ‘Swan Lake’

Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out searching one evening and chases a bunch of swans – certainly one of them transforms right into a younger lady, Odette, who explains that she and her companions had been changed into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart.

The spell can solely be damaged if somebody who has by no means liked earlier than swears an oath of timeless love and guarantees to marry her. The Prince declares his like to Odette and guarantees to be loyal endlessly.

At a grand reception on the palace, the Prince should select a bride – however he can assume solely of Odette. Instantly a fanfare broadcasts the arrival of two friends – it’s Odette! The prince dances together with her and asks for her hand in marriage.

But it surely’s not Odette – the thriller lady is the daughter of the evil von Rothbart, Odile. Odette has witnessed the entire scene. Too late, Siegfried realises his mistake.

Siegfried follows Odette to the lake and begs her forgiveness. She says she forgives him however nothing can change the very fact he broke his vow. They resolve to die collectively. The lovers throw themselves into the lake.

The music of ‘Swan Lake’

The dancers who carried out within the ballet’s premiere declared Tchaikovsky’s music to be just too tough to bounce to. Music of such richness and depth was not, they thought, the sort that ought to accompany their balletic strikes.

As we speak, the ballet is adored by younger and previous: from the sleek Waltz in Act I to the playful Dance of the Cygnets, that is splendidly harmless music. Tchaikovsky evidently loved composing the music for Swan Lake, writing way more materials than would ever be required. Certainly, the model mostly encountered right this moment is, in actual fact, an edited one, created after Tchaikovsky’s loss of life and significantly shorter than the unique, full-length work. It’s now the world’s most steadily carried out ballet.


Do you know?

The Mariinsky Ballet performs a distinct model of the ballet, first created within the 1950s – with a contented ending.

Greatest ballet moments

In addition to the well-known cygnets dance (see above), Swan Lake additionally contains a few of ballet’s most well-known moments, together with:

The Black Swan pas de deux


The dying swan:

Beneficial Recording

Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre; Valery Gergiev (conductor). Decca: 4757669.

Click on right here to obtain the recording

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