Accessibility links

|

Sign In
Basket
Basket

Swan Lake

17 May—21 June 2018
Main Stage

The Royal Ballet performs a new production of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent classical ballet. Production and additional choreography by Liam Scarlett and designs by John Macfarlane.

When to see it

The Story

Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain her human form only at night.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Swan Lake was Tchaikovsky’s first score for ballet. Given its status today as arguably the best loved and most admired of all classical ballets, it is perhaps surprising that at its premiere in 1877 Swan Lake was poorly received. It is thanks to the 1895 production by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov that Swan Lake has become part of not only ballet consciousness but also wider popular culture. That success is secured not only by the sublime, symphonic sweep of Tchaikovsky’s score, but also by the striking choreographic contrasts between Petipa’s royal palace scenes and the lyric lakeside scenes created by Ivanov.

Swan Lake has had a special role in the repertory of The Royal Ballet since 1934. Since then there has been a succession of productions, the most recent of which was overseen by Anthony Dowell. This Season the Company creates a new production with additional choreography by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett. Scarlett, while remaining faithful to the Petipa-Ivanov text, will bring fresh eyes to the staging of this classic ballet, in collaboration with his long-term designer John Macfarlane.

News and features