01 May 2017 (Mon), 14:00 Moscow Kremlin Theatre of Classical Russian Ballet - Classical Ballet Peter Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 2 acts)
Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes (till 16:50)
||Ticket prices before the discount: from US$ 109 to US$ 175 per ticket|
Schedule for Peter Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 2 acts) 2017
Composer: Peter Tchaikovsky
It is difficult to understand these days how it could have happened
that the first show of the “Lake” in 1877, in Moscow’s Bolshoi, was a flop, and
that it took many years for the ballet to achieve its worldwide cult status. The
composer, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, never lived to see the ultimate success of
The story begins in 1875, when Bolshoi commissions a ballet score
from the young but already famous composer. It was not yet customary practice
–despite Tchaikovsky fame and previous successes, which included four
symphonies, the now famous Piano Concerto and “Eugene Onegin” opera, the
Imperial Theatres of the time would normally employ the composers on Imperial
payroll, such as Cesare Pugni, Ludwig Minkus, and Riccardo Drigo. Keeping that
in mind, Tchaikovsky did not embark on the course of a revolution in the Russian
ballet, and studied the classic ballet scores assiduously, planning to produce a
score that would be in tune with the established tradition but at the same time
would sound new and interesting. The task of composition occupied him from May
1875 to April 1876. The story was a knightly fairy tale, and historians still
debate the literary origins –some opt for Heine, some for Musaeus, a German
fairy-tale writer, some for Russian folklore fairy tales, some even for
The first show took place on February 20, 1877, and was a flop. The
critics reviled the chief choreographer, Wentsel Reisinger, and were short on
praise for Polina (Pelageya) Karpakova, the first interpreter of the main female
part. The failure of the first show was detrimental for the immediate reputation
of the ballet itself, and for quite some time nobody dared to stage it
The situation changed after Tchaikovsky’s death. In 1893, Mariinka
decided to revive the “Swan Lake”. A new version of the libretto and the music
was to be produced by Modest Tchaikovsky, the composer’s brother, Ivan
Vsevolzhsky, the director of the Imperial Theatres himself, and by Riccardo
Drigo. The latter used the original music as a source material for a completely
new score. The choreography was supervised by Marius Petipa and his pupil Lev
Ivanov. The tradition claims that while Petipa was the father of the unique
choreography of the new ballet, its truly Russian singing character is there
thanks to Ivanov. The lake and swan scenes, famous for their perfection, are
undoubtedly his alone. It was Ivanov who came up with the idea of enchanted
ladies with their criss-crossed arms and heads tilted to one side, which every
spectator immediately recognized for birds that sit with their wings folded. The
very magical world of the swan lake was created by Ivanov. Petipa’s are the
scenes of courtly dances and festivities and their intricate lace of waltzes and
various dances – Spanish, Hungarian, Polish. Petipa also created an antipode for
Ivanov’s White Queen of Swans –its black twin Odile, and its beautiful black
pas-de-deux of the second act.
It was this particular stage version that came to be admired as the
pinnacle of Russian ballet. This production, as none other, was the perfect
setting for many famous dancers to showcase their art. The Swan Lake is a unique
and perfect creation, and despite the changing musical and dancing fashions, the
performance of Odette and Odile parts is still considered a touchstone for the
mettle of any serious dancer. The White Swan is truly a symbol of Russian
Ballet, of its beauty and magnificence.
In an old German castle, the birthday of Prince Siegfried is
being celebrated; today he comes of age. He is congratulated by his mother, the
Princess Mother, friends and courtiers. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is
made a knight. From this day on a sense of duty, valor will be the guiding
principles in his life.
The last toasts are pronounced in his honor, young girls, his contemporaries,
try to attract his attention, but Siegfried is overcome by emotions of a
different order. He dreams of a pure, ideal love. The festivities draw to an
end, the guests depart, leaving the prince alone with his thoughts in the
gathering dusk. Night falls. Siegfried is conscious of the presence of a shadow
at his side, it is as if some mysterious force is beckoning to him. It is the
Evil Genius, or Fate itself, who has come to reveal some perturbing secrets to
the Prince. Submitting to the powerful pull of his invisible companion’s
presence and full of anxious foreboding, Siegfried succumbs to the ideal world
of his dreams…
Lured by the Evil Genius, Siegfried finds himself on the banks of
a mysterious lake. In the shimmering patches of moonlight on the water, visions
of bewitched swan maidens rise up before him. Siegfried catches sight of Odette,
the most beautiful of the maidens. He is spell-bound, deeply struck by her
beauty. At long last, he has found his romantic ideal of love. He swears to
Odette that he will love her forever and be faithful to her.
Prospective brides-to-be are arriving at the Princess Mother’s
castle. The Prince must chose one of them to be his wife. But Siegfried can
think of nothing but Odette and his meeting of her. He dances in an offhand way
with the well-born maidens. Not one of them can compare to his ideal.
Suddenly, a mysterious knight arrives at the ball accompanied by a
ravishingly beautiful young girl and a suite of black swans. It is the Evil
Genius and Odile, Odette’s double. Struck by their resemblance, Siegfried
hurries towards Odile. The Evil Genius is putting the Prince’s sentiments to the
test. Siegfried is enchanted by the perfidious Odile who manages to disarm him
of all his doubts. He announces Odile to be his chosen bride. At this very
moment, the throne room is plunged in darkness and a vision of the beautiful
Odette appears before the assembled company.
Siegfried realizes that he has
become a plaything in the hands of Fate. Hoping to atone for his betrayal, he
rushes in despair after the receding image of the white swan.
Night-time. A deep gloom overhangs the lake. Odette brings the
tragic news; the Prince has broken his vow of faithfulness to her. Siegfried’s
conscience is deeply troubled; he hurries towards Odette begging for her
forgiveness. Odette forgives the youth but she is no longer mistress of her own
The Evil Genius summons up a storm which disperses, plays havoc with, the
heroes of our tale, making it impossible for them to unite. Made weak by his
single combat with Fate, Siegfried tries in vain to hold on to the vanish image.
As dawn breaks, he finds himself alone on the empty banks of the lake of his
© Text 2010 Art and Culture Magazine "St Peterburg"
Schedule for Peter Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" (ballet in 2 acts) 2017
|"Swan Lake" Grand Pas-de-Deux by Svetlana Zakharova|
About This Video
13:53Peter Tchaikovsky "Swan Lake" Grand Pas-de-Deux by Svetlana Zakharova at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia.
Choreography: Yuri Grigorovich
White Swan Pas-de-Deux, Variation and Coda.
Svetlana Zakharova as Odette.
Denis Rodkin as Prince Siegfried.
25th January, 2015