North East Post
Weekend Edition
Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
5:17 PM 12th January 2022

Swan Lake – Ballet At Its Best

One of the most popular of full-length classical ballets, and technically the most demanding, Swan Lake, has been performed countless times by many world-famous companies and tonight’s performance by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia did not disappoint.

It was breath taking.

From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all. The age-old story with the classic themes of love, betrayal, deceit and loss were treated with exquisite visual effect by the dancers, whilst the beauti-ful, colourful costumes and the clever choreography immediately brought the story to life as the curtain rose.

There were standout performances from all of the solo dancers and high praise indeed must go to the soloist who danced the part of Odette/ Odile with grace and charm, making the most technically difficult role look effortless, perform-ing her 32 fouettes with speed and accuracy.

Prince Siegfried did not disappoint as the character’s uncertainties , vulner-abilities and remorse were well portrayed through his expressive movements. The character was a joy to watch achieving both height, passion and grace in his dancing. Together with Odette, the doomed lovers created both tender and playful love scenes whilst with Odile, the temptress, there was a passion in their partnership.

Baron Rothbart was a formidable and convincing villain in the evil genius who had imprisoned the princess in her swan-like state.

A strong and competent supporting corps de ballet ensured that the audience remained transfixed throughout the performance.

A small but very capable orchestra, led by conductor Anatoly Chepurnoy, pro-vided a faithful and vibrant rendition of the well-loved score. The perform-ances from both the harpist and the percussionist deserve a special mention for their moving contribution to the eerie atmosphere.

Of especial note was the back drop of a shimmering lake, calm and serene or tempestuous and rough, as the tale of the doomed lovers progressed. The clever use of lighting, screen projections and dry ice together created a twilight atmosphere entirely suitable for the dramatic final scene.

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia enjoys an international reputation for deliv-ering performances of outstanding quality and depth.

You will not be disappointed.

Reviewed at Sheffield Lyceum but now on Tour visiting Hull, Nottingham, Darlington, as well as numerous southern towns and cities and Scotland.