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Swan Lake: Behind the scenes

If you’re joining us for our Swan Lake Welcome Performance, you’ll find lots of information here about the story of Swan Lake, plus activities to do before you come. 

Swan Lake is probably the most famous of all classical ballets, even though it was first performed 125 years ago. Over the years, there have been many interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, but The Royal Ballet performs Anthony Dowell’s version, which was first shown in 1987.

The Story of Swan Lake

The ballet is famous for its dancing cygnets, Odette, Queen of the Swans, and the prince who loves her, Siegfried. Discover the story of Swan Lake and how it has changed over time.

In Rehearsal

The journey to putting on a performance at the Royal Opera House is an exciting one. The choreographers and dancers have to work hard to learn their roles and become their characters.

Ballet Glossary: Mime

Odette explains to Prince Siegfried, through mime, that she has been turned into a swan by an evil magician and that only true love will free her.

Behind the Scenes: Getting a ballet on stage

What don’t you see when you sit in the auditorium? Learn about the preparations leading up to a performance and see the work that goes on backstage during the show itself.

We have activities and games for families to do at home based Swan Lake.