Royal Opera House: Swan Lake
A CURZON EXCLUSIVE
Royal Ballet 2017⁄18 Season: Swan Lake
The first of three landmark ballets composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake is now one of the most beloved in any dance company’s repertoire.
For the Royal Ballet, the stunning – often breath-taking – reimagining of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s masterpiece remains a perennial favourite for both dancers and audiences. First premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet in 1877, Tchaikovsky’s two- act ballet, originally choreographed by Julius Reisinger, was not a success. The ballet was revived in 1895, this time with Petipa and Ivanov choreographing the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Conductor Riccardo Drigo also revised Tchaikovsky’s score, with the consent of the composer’s brother Modest. It is this that most companies use in their productions today.
The Royal Ballet’s production remains faithful to Petipa and Ivanov’s version (additional choreography was done by Liam Scarlett and Frederick Ashton). And the staging is in the classic style, albeit with the advantages of modern technology, courtesy of lighting designer David Finn, with former Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett overseeing all aspects of the production.