Set in late 19th century Russia, Anthony Dowell’s production, well served by Yolanda Sonnabend’s sumptuous designs, goes all out to achieve the opulent look of a Tsarist court; while the choreography tries to get closer to the ‘original’ Swan Lake choreography, as devised by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov in 1895.
Swan Lake: set design and company drama
The swans wear long, feathered skirts rather than classical tutus, peasants are got up in babushka-esque outfits and the royal ball brings an abundance of coloured velvets and glittering jewellery. The set alternates between the burnished gold of the court scenes and the shimmering moonlight at the lakeside domain of the captive swan maidens.
The stage is rarely empty, constantly bustling with the business of sideline dramas - dropped cups and misplaced guests; or the massed ranks of swans going through their hypnotic routines.
Royal Ballet: best dancers to star
Casting offers an opportunity to see a range of Royal Ballet principals in the main roles of Odette/Odile and her prince.
Anthony Dowell professed a particular fondness for the tall, willowy Zenaida Yanowksy, an uncommonly intelligent and expressive dancer. She’ll be partnered by the usually reliable Nehemiah Kish. Opening night, though, belongs to Sarah Lamb and Carlos Acosta, an intriguing partnership. The most eagerly awaited lead couple, though, will be newcomer Matthew Golding with the Royal’s newest star Natalia Osipova: Swan Lake's lead role is another of the many parts on which she stamps her indelible mark. Another reliably lovely performance will be from Marianela Nunez - husband Thiago Soares will partner.
This production is a tried and trusted staple of the Royal Ballet repertoire, which, though not to everybody’s taste, still offers an opportunity to see both stars and corps de ballet at their very best.
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|What||Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet: ROH|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
10 Feb 15 – 09 Apr 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Find more information about booking dates here|