Le Lac des Cygnes — Opéra Bastille Paris

Photo Julien Benhamou (Hugo Marchand et Dorothée Gilbert)

It is hard to believe that Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s first ballet, Swan Lake, created in 1877 for the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, was a failure, so striking is its music for its melodic power. It was only twenty years later – but Tchaikovsky was already dead – that ballet imposed itself on stage in the choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Nearly a hundred years later, Rudolf Nureyev is reshuffling the cards by giving his own choreographic reading to this impossible story between Prince Siegfried and Odette, a woman transformed into a swan by the wizard Rothbart. By creating his version for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1984, Rudolf Nureyev gives more relief to the psychology of the prince, torn between his duty and his dreams, and sheds desperate depth on Tchaikovsky’s poetic dream.

 

Photo Julien Benhamou — Hugo Marchand and Dorothée Gilbert

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