Ballet performance Swan Lake 2
Once upon a time there was an incredibly beautiful princess named Odette. One summer day, she took her entire suite and went out to pick flowers in the meadow near the palace. But lurking in the shadows was Rothbart, the evil spirit who couldn’t wait to get his hands on her. The princess gathered a bouquet of bluebells and poppies placed it in her lap and tied it with one of the azure ribbons from her hat. Out of nowhere, Rothbart appears in a cloud of smoke and, with a mere glance, turns the girls into swans. The curse will not be untied unless a prince swears his love to one of the swans. It is said that the girls’ parents cried so bitterly that their tears formed a lake.
The subjects of the neighboring kingdom were no longer busy with the preparations for Prince Siegfried’s coming of age. The empress informs him that the time has almost come for the wedding, for which princesses from all corners of the world will be invited to the party. Each of these secretly dreamed of being chosen, but the prince did not like any of them, and he was dying to marry for love.
When the party is over, Siegfried retreats to solitude, admiring a flock of swans on the lake. But wonder! At midnight, the swans regain their human form and begin to dance. The prince is charmed by their grace and, in particular, by Odette’s beauty. He falls in love on the spot, swears his allegiance to her and invites her to the palace the next day to introduce her as his fiancée. But Rothbart had eavesdropped and hatched a plan.
Great joy in the kingdom because of the prince’s announcement. The emperor orders a fairy-tale party to be held so that his only son can show himself to the whole world as the chosen one of his heart. A young woman who looks a lot like Odette, dressed in black, appears in the ballroom. But she was Rothbart’s daughter, and if you looked closely, you could see a devilish glint in her eyes. Siegfried presents her as his chosen one.
Odette watches the whole scene from the palace window and becomes sad. Her fate was sealed forever. Overcome by pain, the young woman commits suicide by throwing herself into the lake. Siegried bitterly regrets the mistake, realizes that life without Odette’s sweet has no meaning and ends his days in the same way.
Music: P. I. Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Libretto: Vladimir Berghicev and V. Ghelzer
Premiere: 1895, Balsoi Theater, Moscow
What you didn’t know about “Swan Lake”
It is Tchaikovsky’s first ballet.
The libretto was written after a German legend and was constantly rewritten, so there are several endings.
The first performances were not at all successful, on the one hand, because of Julius Reisigner’s mediocre choreography, and on the other hand, because the audience was not yet ready for the symphonic style of ballet music.