There are many reasons for the trepidation with which the announcement was met. The company's stalwart production of 30 years’ standing was the only Swan Lake a generation of Royal Ballet dancers and audiences were familiar with. Although not to everybody’s taste, it bore the signature of one of the company’s most distinguished dancers and subsequently its Artistic Director, Anthony Dowell; and the new production was entrusted to a very young choreographer, 27-year-old Liam Scarlett.
We are promised ‘a big, opulent Swan Lake that could only be by The Royal Ballet,’ in the words of the company’s Artistic Director, Kevin O’Hare, whose decision it was to commission the new production. New designs by John Macfarlane, whose distinguished track record for the Royal Ballet includes Giselle, Frankenstein and The Age of Anxiety, are sure to meet that requirement – and then some.
Liam Scarlett’s previous work has been hit and miss – from his glorious debut with Asphodel Meadows to the turkey that was his Frankenstein (both will be revived next season). He promises not to mess with either Tchaikovsky's wonderful score or the traditional story line – depressed prince meets enchanted swan queen, swears eternal love, is conned into betraying her…. but Scarlett has a surprise ending up his sleeve.
The basis of the choreography remains that created by Petipa/Ivanov in the 19th century, including the dual role of white and black Swan - Odette/Odile – of the greatest challenges for a ballerina.
This production will be in repertoire for over one month with six different casts. It promises to be one of the highlights of the Royal Ballet’s current season; and to help audiences get into the spirit of it, there will be an extensive programme of accompanying Insights events.
|What||The Royal Ballet, Swan Lake, ROH|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
17 May 18 – 21 Jun 18, 19:30 some early starts 19:00, mats 13:30 or 14:00 Dur.: 3 hours with 2 intervals
|Website||Click here to book now|