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Your Reaction: Swan Lake 2015

What did you think of Anthony Dowell's production of the greatest romantic ballet?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

11 February 2015 at 10.22am | 23 Comments

Press reviews:
Telegraph ★★★★
The Times (£) ★★★★★
Arts Desk ★★★
The Express ★★★★★

What did you think of Swan Lake?

Swan Lake runs until 9 April 2015. Tickets are sold out, but returns may become available and there are 67 day tickets available for each performance.

The production will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 17 March 2015. Find your nearest cinema.

The production is given with generous philanthropic support from Celia Blakey, John and Susan Burns, Doug and Ceri King, Peter Lloyd and Gail Ronson. Original Production (1987) and revival (2000) supported by The Linbury Trust.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

11 February 2015 at 10.22am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by anthony dowell, Production, review, Social Media, Swan Lake, twitter, your reaction

This article has 23 comments

  1. Marvellous dancing from the whole cast,but whoever expected poor Gary Avis to move,let alone dance in the hideous Act 2 and Act 4 costumes ?

  2. Alison Brown responded on 11 February 2015 at 5:26pm Reply

    Anthony Dowell's production of Swan Lake is definitely the best there is. At one time I thought I'd had my fill of Swan Lakes but I never get tired of this one. Haven't been yet this season but will be going to the live relay. The fact that the corps aren't in tutus makes them look even more as though they're floating along. Very impressive.

  3. Jakegee responded on 11 February 2015 at 10:24pm Reply

    An outstanding performance by all, much appreciated by an audience who gave it well deserved prolonged rapturous applause. Wonderful to see Marianela Nunez partnering Carlos Acosta last night. They really are the 'Dream Team'. Oh to have this on DVD!! We don't have a DVD of Carlos in "Swan Lake", so PLEASE, Royal Ballet, do produce one before Carlos retires from Classical Ballet!
    The Act II pas de deux was so moving, and danced faultlessly by Carlos & Marianela. Credit also to Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward, Ricardo Cervera & Laura for their performances, and to a wonderful Corps de Ballet.
    A special night to remember! Thank you for giving us the privilege of seeing you dance, Carlos & Marianela et al.

  4. Brilliant and beautiful overall, but I do agree with Nina's costume comment!

  5. Denise responded on 13 February 2015 at 6:33pm Reply

    I saw the dress rehearsal of this production on Tuesday 10th Feb, with Roberta Marquez and Rupert Pennefather, and it was totally mesmerising.

    Roberta Marquez was an exquisite Odette/Odile, truly outstanding.

    I thought the stage sets, choreography, and costumes superb.

    I have seen quite a number of productions of Swan Lake by various companies, and I have no hesitation in saying that this production is the very best I have ever seen.

  6. Barry Purves responded on 14 February 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

    drove down from Manchester and back to see this last night, and what a great experience all round. Friendly staff everywhere and an overwhelming performance. I've seen many Swan Lakes, but the colours of this one were breathtaking. A little short on story telling, and the first act just starts then is slowed down by the long long pas de trois which kills thing a bit, but oh the Swan scenes....wonderful. An odd design choice to suddenly introduce swans in brown dresses - I was trying to work out any significance. And whilst the Dance of the Little cygnets is a moment equivalent to Lady Bracknell's 'handbag', some sort of context could have been found or at least had them danced by the smaller dancers. But that's me as a director speaking and wanting some narrative coherence when I guess that's never been ballet's strong point. but it a magnificent evening. Thank you. Any idea just how many people are involved backstage, on stage and in the pit on such an evening. Thank you

  7. Kevin responded on 15 February 2015 at 9:37am Reply

    Enjoyed Nunez's performance last night very much. A real star.

    Why did the chorus guy take off his moustache?

  8. Jakegee responded on 15 February 2015 at 10:45am Reply

    "Bravo! Bravo!" The St. Valentine's Evening audience roared and applauded their appreciation of last night's unsurpassable performance by Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez and the entire cast. I can't decide whether it was even better than Tuesday evening - I can't do comparative, I can only say both were SUPERLATIVE!!
    The tenderness, emotion, technical skill and dramatic genius of Carlos and Marianela were breathtaking! Literally so! I found myself suddenly almost audibly gasping because I had held my breath for so long as they entranced the audience with their performance of the Act II pas de deux.

    The Act III solos and pas de deux again amazed us! Carlos can still dance with the energy of a youth and Marianela can continue to spin on a penny. What a privilege to be present at such a performance.

    As on Tuesday evening, the opening pas de trios was faultless. Alexander Campbell, Emma Maguire and Francesca Hayward are all, without doubt, stars of the future.

    Oh, I could go on and on! However, I wish now to thank all the cast, technicians and staff of the Royal Ballet for another unforgettable evening at Covent Garden! Roll on Thursday evening!

  9. Robert Watson responded on 15 February 2015 at 7:17pm Reply

    Drove down from Manchester with Barry Purves from the above comment. I have to thank him for introducing me to this wonderful art form, and by chance to Zenaida Yanowsky in The Winters Tale. I was hoping to be wowed by her again but the poor girl is injured. Still a fantastic evening at the most wonderful Opera House. Oh my…don't the corps work hard. We watched every single one of them intensely.
    I also have tickets for 21st of this month. To see the most graceful woman on the planets last performance. One the website, Zenaida is still listed as performing. Is this the case as I believe she hasn't performed since Alice? Thank you.

  10. Bumble responded on 19 February 2015 at 1:11pm Reply

    It is disappointing when casts have to change. Roberta Marquez and Nehemiah Kish are both superb though. I'd happily see either. You'll still enjoy the production!

  11. Angela Hurlstone responded on 20 February 2015 at 8:52am Reply

    Was last night just a dream? A simply wonderful performance of Swan Lake. I can't believe that I saw Carlos Acosta's final performance of Prince Siefried. How bittersweet to have witnessed this amazing talent, always sublime and always giving. As the flowers fell on to the stage it felt like they were tears of sadness as this wonderful dancer bade farewell to the handsome prince.

  12. Jakegee responded on 20 February 2015 at 2:37pm Reply

    Last night's "Swan Lake" will always be remembered by me, and, I'm sure, by most in the audience, as an outstanding performance, but tinged with overwhelming sadness that we were seeing Carlos Acosta in the role of Prince Siegfried for the final time. Yes, the thought had crossed my mind that it may be his last performance in the role at Royal Ballet, but I had pushed that thought to the back of my mind - I just don't want to think of Carlos's imminent retiral from Classical Ballet!!

    However, when curtain call came and his colleagues pushed a rather bashful Carlos to the front of stage, then the flowers showered down over the stage and orchestra pit, it could only mean one thing ..... this was his final Prince Siegfried. This unassuming man has given us many years of delight and pleasure, for which we must be thankful, and look back fondly and wistfully with happy memories. Thankfully we also have many DVDs and You-tube clips to view, and relive many of his roles.

    Carlos has never danced to satisfy his own ego. He has danced for
    us, his audience. He has amazing talent, which he humbly recognised, and fortunately was happy to share with his audiences. He has become a household name throughout the world - no mean feat for this Cuban youth raised in poverty and compelled reluctantly into ballet by his father. What a dreadful loss to the world of ballet and dance had fate not brought his talents to light. We thank you, Carlos, for giving us the privilege of watching you perform!

  13. Suzanneh responded on 14 March 2015 at 1:03am Reply

    Thank you for a superb Swan Lake tonight with Natalia Osipova and Matthew Golding. I must also comment on the precision and grace of the swans and cygnets with their fluidity and expression. The entire production was altogether life enhancing.

  14. Tracey Lord responded on 14 March 2015 at 4:25pm Reply

    I was lucky enough to see Carlos Acosta perform his final Swan Lake last month. Magnificent. I will cherish the experience. Then last night I was enthralled by Matthew Golding, another modest, charming dancer who connects with Natalia so wonderfully. And as for Natalia... sublime, ethereal, beautiful. Unforgettable.

  15. Steve Clark responded on 14 March 2015 at 8:51pm Reply

    Well, we attended last night (13th March) expecting no less than perfection and we were not disappointed ! Natasha was sublime as always. Matthew was superb but the absolute stars of the evening were the Corps. They confirmed what I have suspected for years, we really do have The Best Corps de Ballet in the world ! I just wish I knew all their names ! Our weekend ended beautifully this morning with an excellent backstage tour with David whose knowledge and enthusiasm really shone through. Thankyou to all at the ROH. I am so pleased and proud to be part of your family.

  16. Tracey Lord responded on 15 March 2015 at 10:52pm Reply

    I am embarrassed that I neglected to mention how fantastic the corps was in my above comment. They truly were to die for!

  17. Krystal responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:47pm Reply

    Most amazing experience. The dancers had such emotion, grace and strength. Golding was breathtaking and Osipova so beautiful! Best ballet I have ever seen - even if it was a cinema experience! Absolutely beautiful. The best birthday present!

  18. Jennifer Jones responded on 21 March 2015 at 6:22pm Reply

    Saw matinee 21st March. Iana Salenko beautiful dancer who managed to blend very well with the Company - 4th Act was especially beautiful and expressive and the Royal does this Act especially well. Will miss the long dresses for the swans if they are changed.

  19. B woolsey responded on 23 March 2015 at 2:50pm Reply

    For me the DOWELL Swan Lake is the VERY BEST in the world..
    love the setting ,costumes etc . In all, simply a triumph . .In the first act I think it is very well danced and NOT at all CLUTTERED as some distractors keep mentioning, A few thing that could maybe be tweaked , is the tutor drunk scene with the children . They could just be introduced to dance For the Prince. Perhapsalso remove the small creature with Rothbart?
    I also love the long dresses on the corps . The WHOLE design costumes ,set and scenery to me is simply wonderful .
    It could just be re- costumed if the powers to be, feel need to waste money,and leave the sets and the choreography alone .
    I will sorely miss this fantastic production .
    Same with the worlds best La BOHEME..in opera--leave well ALONE .
    IF IT AIN'T BROKE THEN DONT FIX IT !!!!!

  20. Phil Hollingsworth responded on 25 March 2015 at 10:56am Reply

    I saw the performance with my eldest son on the 21st March. This was my third visit to the ROH to see Swan Lake. I will never forget the broad smile we both exchanged, from our seats in the Orchestra Stalls , when the first notes began playing for Act 1. The same beaming smiles were exchanged again when the curtain went up. Infact I don't think we stopped smiling throughout the performance!
    A truly stupendous set, breathtaking ballet dancing, and outstanding orchestra.
    We absolutely loved it!
    THANK YOU !!!

  21. S. Westmoreland responded on 10 April 2015 at 1:07pm Reply

    A stunning and breathtaking experience from start to finish, and what can I say about Osipova? Perfection in movement, poise and control. Words could never do it justice!

  22. Andrew Law responded on 10 April 2015 at 7:58pm Reply

    I hope you will accept these comments in the spirit in which they are intended, meaning constructive and not negative. I agree with much of what has been said already, in particular the opulence of the set. There are three things which I would change if I could.
    The first is that I would change the way in which Benno and the other cadets snatch the crossbows from the guards to hunt the swans in Act 1. This appears too much like drunks intent on wanton killing to me. In the Mariinsky production Siegfried is presented with a bow from his mother as a gift, a right of passage as it were; much more civilised, in what is supposed to be a Court setting.
    The second is in act 3, Siegfried's costume is too dark against the dark background. If one or the other was lighter then it would be much easier to see the body movement. This seems more problematic on the DVD.
    Finally; personally I prefer the swans to be all in plate tutus. I think the Corps appearing in romantic tutus is too much like Giselle Wilis for me.
    Just some thoughts. Looking forward to the new production.

  23. Jancis Ham responded on 11 April 2015 at 12:38am Reply

    Swan Lake is such a very special ballet. I don't know about smilng, but the whole thing makes me cry with emotion all through. I as there last night, the 9th, and agree that the 'corps' are indeed superb, their fluffy long skirts setting off the movements and patterns perfectly (Even from up in the side slips with only three quarters of the stage) . When they came streaming in to fill the stage it was a glorious moment, and their desperate but vain efforts to support and defend Odette in the last act was painfully poignant.Perfect timing and swirling patterns reminiscent of the swooping movements of the birds around Brighton palace Pier in the evening. I've been lucky enough to have seen many great Swan Lakes in 60 years of Ballet-going and will always remember this one. Thank you Royal Ballet.

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