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Swan Lake: An Essential Guide

Interesting articles, links and videos allowing you to dive deeper into Swan Lake.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

11 October 2012 at 3.51pm | 2 Comments

It's one of the classic ballets, described as a work that "should be experienced at least once in one’s lifetime" in The Ballet Bag's excellent cheat sheet of essential information about the piece. With a rich and varied history, it has gone through a number of transformations as various companies adapted the work including some off-the-wall versions as examined in this article by the Guardian's Judith Mackrell from 2001.

If you're interested in the history of the piece, you may enjoy a look into the archives of ROH Collections, featuring a number of costumes and set photos. Looking further back, read extracts from Tchaikovsky's letters in which he admitted that he feared for Swan Lake's success.

For those wishing to glimpse behind the curtain and get a taste of what it's like to dance in Swan Lake, watch our behind the scenes film or watch Thiago Soares and Marianela Nuñez demonstating balletic mime:

Budding ballerinas may wish to watch clips from our YouTube ballet glossary, including this clip demonstrating Odette's mime.

Young children don't have to be left out either with this selection of  games and activities related to the ballet that are available to download, including the option to make your own theatre to stage your very own production of Swan Lake.

Swan Lake runs until 24 November and will be screened live internationally on 23 October as part of our Cinema Season.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

11 October 2012 at 3.51pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by anthony dowell, Essential Guide, Marianela Nuñez, Production, Rudolf Nureyev, Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky, Thiago Soares

This article has 2 comments

  1. sonia luff responded on 16 October 2012 at 1:01pm Reply

    This was our first time at attending a ballet so my husband and i weren't sure whether we would like. It was absolutely brilliant. We were mesmerised watching the speed of the feet and the various positions etc.
    Drinks prices were extortionate though

  2. aideen reid responded on 24 October 2012 at 9:41am Reply

    I saw the performance at the Phoenix Cinema in Oxford..truly glorious and totally ravishing performance.. and drinks very moderate in the cinema bar!.

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