The magical world of fairy tales and dreams can be translated by ballet the best possible way.
The ballet “Swan Lake”, written by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, became a classic of world ballet. The ballet conquered and continues conquering the whole world, delivering the greatest pleasure to all fans of Russian ballet art. The plot of the ballet is a beautiful and sad legend about a girl-bird, about the eternal fight of love and deceit, of good and evil.
A Beautiful Legend about Love
The author of the libretto for the Swan Lake is considered to be a quartermaster of the Imperial Theatre Vladimir Begichev, and his co-author – a dancer Vasily Geltser. Although some art researchers tend to attribute the authorship to the composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
… First enchanting sounds of the ballet take the viewersto a medieval castle where the young Prince Siegfried is carelessly celebrating his coming of age.
A swan flock, circling above the castle, lures the young prince to the shores of a forest lake. Here, on the beach, he sees the beautiful Odette, who was turned into a swan by a treacherous master of the lake Rotbar. The beauty of the girl and her sad fatecaptivate Siegfried. He swears eternal love to Odette.
At the ball, the young prince must choose a bride. Bewitched by the treacherous sorcerer Rotbar, he takes Rotbar’s daughter Odile for Odette. She becomes a chosen one.
Soon, the young man learns of his mistake. He throws a challenge to the mighty Rotbar. The waves of the lake raised by the sinister force of the lake master are ready to devour Siegfried. Odette rushes to help her lover…
Choreographic Interpretation of the Ballet
Much of the choreography of the ballet in its present form belongs to two choreographers – Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. A wonderful tandem of these two masters of choreography established a new form of the ballet art on the imperial stage – the symphony ballet. And the work itself rightfully become a real gem among other ballet performances.
Marius Petipa was the choreographer of grand scenes – balls and festivities in the palace, skillful interweaving of waltzes and dances. Lev Ivanov created the image of the White queen of swans as a symbol of female purity, and he also choreographed amazing swan scenes. Petipa contrasted the image of the White queen of swans Odette with her black counterpart – Odile. Odile’s sinister passion is expressed in amazingly beautiful “black pas de deux” in the second act.
Music for the “Swan Lake” Is a Great Poetic Poem
When he first started composing music for the ballet, composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky departed from the accepted norm when the music was used only as accompaniment of dance performances. He created the score, which is performed as an independent symphonic work.
The leitmotif of the entire ballet is a swan song. Being born in the first acts of the overture, it continues until the final notes, embodied in different forms and themes. The second musical line is waltz: sometimes romantic, at times melancholic, and only sometimes jubilant, but still present in all the scenes of the ballet.
The Russian composer created a whole gallery of musical portraits of the main characters actors of the ballet and gave a deepemotional flavor to all musical episodes.
This great ballet has been performed on almost every stage in the world. Generations and directors changed, but the white swan born by the visionary Pyotr Tchaikovsky still remains a symbol of purity and greatness of the Russian ballet.