When to see it
These events are part of the Winter 2014/15 season.
Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is instantly captivated and determines to break the spell that holds her captive.
Read more… (Contains spoilers)
Swan Lake was Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky's first score for ballet. Its 1877 premiere was poorly received, but it has since become one of the most loved of all ballets. The twinned role of the radiant White Swan and the scheming, duplicitous Black Swan tests the full range of a ballerina's powers, particularly in the two great pas de deux of Acts II and III. Other highlights include the charming Dance of the Little Swans performed by a moonlit lake and sweeping ballroom waltzes in the splendour of the royal palace.
Anthony Dowell's glorious interpretation uses classical choreography created by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa for the ballet's revised 1895 version. Dramatic costumes emphasize the contrast between human and spirit worlds, while glowing lanterns, shimmering fabrics and designs inspired by the work of Peter Carl Fabergé create a magical setting.
News and features
25 February 2015
Radio DJ meets Royal Ballet Principal Thiago Soares, explores backstage and takes her mum to her first-ever ballet.
19 February 2015
The exact authors of Swan Lake are unknown – but the ballet shows the influence of a variety of different fairytales.
17 February 2015
Cast changes in effect for roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried.
11 February 2015
What did you think of Anthony Dowell's production of the greatest romantic ballet?
10 February 2015
Behind the delicate pas de deux, Swan Lake is a battleground for ballet history buffs – which choreographer should get the credit for this classical masterpiece?
9 February 2015
Marianela Nuñez to replace Sarah Lamb in the role of Odette/Odile.
Swan Lake (Russian: Лебединое озеро / Lebedinoye ozero), Op. 20, is a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger. The ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March [O.S. 20 February] 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, first staged for the Imperial Ballet on 15 January 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo.