Swan Lake

Ballet by Aaron S. Watkin

They are the archetypal figures of classical ballet: the cursed Swan Princess Odette and her swan maidens. And so it is hard to believe that »Swan Lake« was Pjotr I. Tschaikovsky’s greatest disappointment when the work flopped at its Moscow premiere in 1877. It was not until 1895 that the visionary choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov devised that immortal combination of splendour and virtuosity in their version, infused with an atmosphere of elegiac lyricism. Both elements are displayed in the main female roles: Odile, the Black Swan, embodying the powerfully seductive, extroverted woman, and Odette, the White Swan, a poetically-heightened expression of introverted feminine tenderness and vulnerability. And between them, Siegfried’s love, which falters at the decisive moment, and destroys everything. In his reimagining of this classic work from 2009, chief choreographer and ballet director Aaron S. Watkin carefully drew on his deep knowledge of the traditions of dance. The result is a »Swan Lake« of timeless elegance, poetry and tenderness, which, when so masterfully interpreted by the Semperoper Ballett, still has the power to thrill audiences.

Premiere 21. November 2009