Swan Lake by the Russian State Ballet, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
There cannot be many ballet fans who have never seen Swan Lake, but this brilliant production is different to any you have seen before.
Choreographed by the Artistic Director Konstantin Uralsky who is a former Bolshoi theatre dancer, producer Alexei Ignatow said: “Swan Lake is a ballet classic but the way we do it I am not sure it’s ever been shown like this in the UK.”
For a start Odette/Odile is danced by two separate principal dancers with Aigul Ishbulatova dancing the black swan Odile and Natalia Korobeinikova dancing the white swan Odette.
This leads to them dancing together on stage in Act II with Prince Siegfried and the wicked Baron Von Rothbart, Odile’s accomplice. This is one of the most moving scenes in the ballet.
All four dancers are excellent with the anguished Prince danced by Rudolf Dudoladov and Rothbart danced by Maksim Melnikov. The end of the ballet where the waves of the lake break through the walls of the palace and flood the hall is a beautiful scene as the rising waves are created with long pieces of material.
The Dance of the Little Swans was enchanting and the four ballerinas danced it to perfection. This production of Swan Lake showed us Russian ballet at its best.
Swan Lake was one of three ballets the company brought to Eastbourne, the others were The Nutcraker and Romeo and Juliet and it was a real treat for those who were privileged to see it.
Judging by the packed house and the well-deserved cheers the Russian State Ballet will be back next year and I for one cannot wait.
By Amanda Wilkins