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Review: Russian State Ballet Of Siberia - Swan Lake @ Saint David's Hall

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 05/02/2013 at 18:46
1 comments » - Tagged as Dance, Music, Stage

  • Swan Lake

There is nothing quite like a ballet.

And after a festive season crammed it, I felt I had become well acquainted with the art form. My final ballet of the year was Swan Lake and it's certainly the most famous ballet ever written. Who could forget the score by Tchaikovsky? I'm sure the recent Black Swan film will also attract even more attention to Swan Lake and ballet in general; such was the success of the film.

When Northern Ballet had toured with their production some years ago to our New Theatre, I felt I must persuade my mother to join me (and for her to pay!). But this time my plus one needed no persuasion, as she had always wanted to see Swan Lake, even though she had never been to a ballet before. I am of course, talking about my aunt.

I promised I would take her and it was a splendid evening. We saw it in between the lull that is the gab between Christmas and New Year. Nice to actually introduce someone to culture and for them to enjoy every moment. But she has made it very clear that I will never take her to the opera, much to my disappointment.

The production hit all the right notes. It was a grand affair that drew you into the story and moved you as it was near its end. I did have to explain to my aunt the story as she told me in the interval she had no idea what was going on. It's always a hair on the back of the neck moment when you first see all the ladies as swans, as the famous melodies swells to their climaxes.

The story is not too complex but engaging enough. It reminds me a little of The Flying Dutchman, with its themes of destiny, fate and reaching love through death, or redemption, if you will. Prince Siegfried has fallen madly in love with Odette, who has been turned into a swan by an evil master. Only the prince can save her, but how?

In ballet there always seems to be those non-dancing roles. I speak of the characters who are present but only use gesticulation or hand movements if you will. The use of the hands appears very important in ballet. Almost as much as the feet and legs. The dancers are world class. You marvel at their every move. It's hard to take your eyes off them.

If they return next Christmas, I hope they try some thing a bit different with the programme. It would be a joy to see Petrushka and The Firebird instead of The Nutcracker for once. How about Giselle, La Bayadere or even La Sylphide? A selection of which I'm sure would go down a treat.

See Swan Lake if you have been before or feel ready to attend a ballet for the first time.

Rating: 6/10

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1 CommentPost a comment

Targaryen

Commented 39 months ago - 5th February 2013 - 20:08pm

I went to see the same company perform Swan Lake in 2011 before Christmas, and I found it utterly mesmerising.
Not only the dancers, but the orchestra that performed the score with them. The music, especially hearing it live, was nothing less than beautiful.
I would most definitely see it again, I'm also hoping to see their rendition of Coppélia, a ballet I've wanted to see for years.

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