This happened the second time in Delhi and this time with the new cast. In recent times, the name ‘Swan Lake’ brings first to mind not Tchaikovsky’s original ballet, but the psychological thriller Black Swan, for which Natalie Portman won an Oscar. The story of a princess, Odette, turned into a swan by a sorcerer’s curse, received a new interpretation.
Fusion and modern interpretations of the ballet have been performed elsewhere in India, but this recital – courtesy a collaboration between production house Navrasa Duende and the Russian Royal Ballet – brings Swan Lake in all its original glory to Delhi.
Royal Russian Ballet theatre was founded in 2008 in Ukraine in order to save and promote the best traditions of Russian classical ballet around the world. The ballet troupe includes 55 best ballet dancers from Russia, Ukraine, and Europe.
Swan Lake is the most beloved and quintessential classical ballet, a timeless story of good versus evil. From the first yearning bars of Tchaikovsky’s score, it beckons you to another world, with its bewitched swan queen, doomed prince, glittering villainess, and drifts of white tutus. The ballet also captures the full range of human emotions — from hope to despair, terror to tenderness, and melancholy to ecstasy. Perhaps it is these themes and emotions, in addition to the romance of the tale, that has made Swan Lake endure over nearly 140 years.
Beautifully crafted and sensually romantic- it’s simply stunning. The twinned role of the radiant white swan and the scheming, duplicitous black swan tests the full range of a ballerina’s powers. There is also Tchaikovsky’s haunting and ageless score, poignantly attuned to the struggles of the heart. The moods extend from the exquisitely tender violin solo of the Swan Dance Andante to the thundering explosions of the finale. The foremost quality most often attributed to the Swan Lake score is its ‘symphonic’ nature, an innovation for the genre at the time it was written.
Adored by audiences for over a hundred years, Swan Lake is the most famous ballet in the world. The sublime transcendence of choreography that has been passed down generations after generations is unmatched, and the music of Tchaikovsky’s is never more attuned to the struggles of the heart than in this poignant work.
The second season will see minimal changes in execution, and none in the plot. Director Anatoliy Kazatskiy explains, “The latest production is much grander in scale and spectacle as compared to our previous tour. We have also experimented a bit with the costumes and stage design for this production, to match the grandness of the play. Also, considering that the number and frequency of shows being performed is much greater, we have two pairs of lead artists who will play the principal characters of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette/Odile.”
The ballet remains a favourite because it encompasses various emotions and themes—eternal love, passion, melancholy.
As per Navrasa Duende founder Dinesh B Singh, “Swan Lake was our first choice, because we wanted to introduce the Indian audience to the best of western classical music, dance, theatre and the ballet. It will be very refreshing to watch and is sure to appeal to our audiences across all age groups.”