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Your reaction: Swan Lake in cinemas 2015

What did you think of the live cinema relay of the iconic romantic ballet, starring Natalia Osipova and Matthew Golding?

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

17 March 2015 at 10.35pm | 115 Comments

What did you think of Swan Lake live in cinemas?

The Royal Opera House Cinema Season broadcasts performances to more than 1,600 cinemas in 44 countries around the world. Find out more here.

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

17 March 2015 at 10.35pm

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

This article has 115 comments

  1. Steve Finch responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:16pm Reply

    The whole show was just breathtaking. Probably the best performance of any ballet that I and my wife have ever seen and that includes Giselle. Could not fault it.

  2. Kathleen Treacy responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:17pm Reply

    Natalia Osipova and Matthew Golding were breathtaking. Absolutely brilliant and mesmerizing. A treasure of a production of Swan Lake.

  3. liz responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:18pm Reply

    WONDERFUL. best performance we have ever seen, Natalia Ospiova outstanding but Matthew Golding is the best Sigfried ever. Knutsford Cheshire.

  4. Edwina responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:20pm Reply

    FAB,FAB,FAB what more can I say!

  5. Patricia chapman responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:20pm Reply

    Fabulous performance . The whole cast are simply stunning . I also very much enjoyed the opportunity to see the rehearsals . It felt wonderful to see the performance in a small Norfolk town, and be home within ten minutes of it finishing ! .A wonderful evening

  6. Marilyn responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:25pm Reply

    Wonderful evening at the roh
    Superb dancing,best odette,odile since makarova.........golding great partner,love you natalia

  7. Severine responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:34pm Reply

    First time I've seen a ballet on a cinema screen, and it was really great. Fantastic dancers, very impressive.

  8. richardo responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:35pm Reply

    wow.fabuluos. most unsure how would enjoy in cinema. brilliant evening out in worcester. fantastic idea. awesome dancers

  9. rossalex responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:43pm Reply

    Superb - watched in Thurso, Caithness cinema. Wasn't sure if this would work, but awesome - girlfriend moved to tears at finale!! - not manly me-lol. Choreography brilliant

  10. Harald Assenheimer responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:44pm Reply

    Just terriffic!

  11. Alison Brown responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:46pm Reply

    I mentioned before that this is the finest production of Swan Lake and how lucky are we to have Osipova with us. I have never been so moved in the final act as when the swans move away to reveal Odette heartbroken. I was in tears after her Giselle and I'm in tears now. Who knows what it is that a ballerina has when she can move someone to tears without saying a word. Golding too was outstanding and so were the company. Thank you again, Royal Opera House, for allowing us to see such fine productions so close up. The video clips and interviews in the interval are a treat. The cinema in Brighton is always half full. What a shame, they don't know what they're missing!

  12. Sasha responded on 17 March 2015 at 11:48pm Reply

    Fantastic performance! The best production of Swan Lake: beautiful, tasteful and lively! Everybody danced and acted brilliantely. Huge bravo to corps de ballet! Natalia and Mathew made a great duo. Natlia's dancing is beyond words. Divine! Thank you, ROH for broadcasting this unique perfomance! Looking forward to the next one.

  13. Joanne Simmons responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:01am Reply

    Amazing production! Osipova and Golding were superb! Beautiful corps of swans from the Royal Ballet - we loved it all!!! :-)

  14. van bever christine responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:01am Reply

    ce soir dans ma ville de Charleroi(Belgique) nous sommes allés voir ce spectacle au cinéma....: Grandiose , magnifique et magique . Sublime même . Tout était parfait , décors, costumes et danseurs. Merci

  15. Sheila Pantry responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:09am Reply

    Absolutely a most wonderful glorious performance tonight - what a delight - congratulations and thanks to Everyone involved especially Osipova and Golding for all their hard work . The designs, sets, costumes so marvellous and the music so uplifting. Introduced two friends to ROH ballet tonight and they were swept away by it all.
    Thanks from Sheila, Mary, Brian and Mabel, Sheffield, UK. 17.3.15

  16. Sheila Pantry responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:14am Reply

    Fabulous performance tonight!
    Congratulations to everyone involved.

  17. Frances R. Napier responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:22am Reply

    I have just seen the cinema performance of Swan Lake. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, the dancers, the orchestra, the costumes, what for a great pleasure. I never dreamt I could watch the Royal Ballet in a cinema where I live, Grosseto, Italy.

  18. Jennifer stephenson responded on 18 March 2015 at 5:36am Reply

    this performance was almost beyond words. Awesome. Amazing. Wonderful. Flawless. I loved very second of it. When and if is there a dvd available please.

  19. Monica responded on 18 March 2015 at 7:44am Reply

    I have seen many performances of the Swan Lake, and this is the best by far ! Osipova and Golding have the magic that makes a performance memorable.

  20. Annemiek responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:02am Reply

    Wow! Beautiful! Really enjoyed this show, amazing! Can't stop thinking about it :D

  21. W J Owen responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:11am Reply

    I've seen this production twice at the ROH but this was my first time in the cinema (Fact Liverpool). I saw Osipova dance this with Acosta before she joined the Royal Ballet and, whilst she was very good then , she was out of this world last night. You can't beat being in the House but the cinema experience compared very well (and I didn't have to fight through masses of people to get my coat afterwards!). The camera work was slightly annoying in the first act when the camera would move away from the person who was dancing. I enjoyed the interviews and rehearsal footage in the intervals. Whilst Darcey Bussell is perhaps not the most natural of presenters ( she struggled with the autocue at times - does she need an eye test?) it's obvious that she knows her stuff and that's much more important than having a professional presenter who doesn't have a clue what they're talking about ( eg Natasha Kaplinsky presenting your La Traviata). I will definitely be going to see your productions at the cinema again. what really came across was what a team effort this ballet was. Everyone shone . Thank you.

  22. Marlene Maguire responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:31am Reply

    Spectacularly wonderful dancing, and costumes beyond beautiful
    Such a huge treat to be able to see such productions from our local cinema.
    And lovely to meet up with Anthony Dowell again, one of my all time favourite dancers

  23. charles holloway responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:50am Reply

    Osipova was electrifying and Golding magnificent. Sadly Vue in Islington was very dark particularly in the first act. Difficult to see costumes and set except in c!ose up. Was this the cinema or the stream itself?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:59am

      Dear Charles

      We believe that this was in the specific cinema - we will pass on your feedback. Thanks for letting us know.

      Best wishes


  24. Gwen Wright responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:58am Reply

    Every nuance of visual and auditory delight was just supreme! Breathless in awe of this! Enabling a wider audience with live screenings is so appreciated. Thank you all so very much indeed.

  25. Susan responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:58am Reply

    I've seen many Odette/Odiles over the years, but Natalia was exceptional - it was electric in the cinema and loved the close ups/ angles which were such an unexpected treat!

  26. Rik responded on 18 March 2015 at 9:01am Reply

    Wonderful! We loved the dancing and thought also that there was a decent balance between full stage camera shots and closer views. Thank you.

  27. Helen Turner responded on 18 March 2015 at 9:03am Reply

    Brilliant performance. However at the Odeon NTL Sreening it was like watching a film rather than a live performance. There were far too many close up shots etc. one of the joys of being in the theatre watching live is being able to see the whole stage and all the dancers not just the bits the cameraman thinks you ought to see. It takes away from being able to appreciate the breadth of the production and did not give us the opportunity to appreciate the work of the whole company.

  28. Judith Berry responded on 18 March 2015 at 9:20am Reply

    Gorgeous production. Osipova was the music made visible with all the nuances of Tchaikovsky's wonderful score.

  29. Simon Ridgeston responded on 18 March 2015 at 9:56am Reply

    What amazing performances from Natalia Osipova and Matthew Golding, their chemistry was perfect. This was the best production do Swan Lake I have seen in a long time. Another Five Star production from the Royal Ballet.

  30. Danielle responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:10am Reply

    Last night was magical. Everything was perfect. Sterling production. Flawless corps de ballet. Natalia and Matthew were spectacular. The most special ballet I've ever seen. <3

  31. Brian Walsh responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:27am Reply

    Congratulations to the whole production team for last night's performance of Swan Lake. (front and backstage) It was truly brilliant.

  32. joel responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:59am Reply

    would it not be a good idea to tell us who are the dancers besides the principals. fortunately, some of the tweets mentioned certain dancers, but ms bussell might let us know ahead of time who is going to dance the pas de trois, the big swans or the neapolitans, for example.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:47pm

      Dear Joel

      Most cinemas print out the cast sheet that we supply them with, which can be downloaded from our screening page (in several different languages):

      You will also see an even more detailed casting on that page.

      Best wishes


  33. Jill Taylor responded on 18 March 2015 at 11:11am Reply

    What a wonderful experience watching Swan Lake at the cinema; I was particularly impressed by the dancing and elevation of Matthew Golding - stunning. The close up camera shots took a little getting used to and showed up minor flaws, particularly with the corps de ballet, who weren't always synchronised as one body. Overall experience was wonderful.

  34. Sharon Alexander responded on 18 March 2015 at 11:30am Reply

    Absolutely stunning, breathtaking, marvelous. First cinema experience of a ballet and will not be my last. Congratulations!!!

  35. Natascha Lancaster responded on 18 March 2015 at 11:32am Reply

    It was such a privilege to see Osipova , Golding and EVERYONE in Swan Lake. The dancing was brilliant and the sets and costumes are just stunning.

    Just one question: Please, in future, can we have some camera shots from above looking down so that we can see the shapes made by the corps de ballet?

  36. Yuko responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:32pm Reply

    I hope a DVD of this cast will be available soon! I saw the same cast perform last week and it was wonderful that I want to watch it again and again.

  37. noel patrick responded on 18 March 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    Attended the Odeon, Belfast for the Swan Lake screening on St Patrick's Day.
    Excellent performances all round, especially the Pas De Trois with the brilliant Francesca Hayward , Yuhui Choe & Alexander Campbell, who should 'all' become Principals in the near future. Don't let them escape.
    Wonderful production.

  38. Sandie responded on 18 March 2015 at 1:30pm Reply

    What a huge shame you are not planning to release a DVD of this truly memorable night of ballet at its finest.
    It was probably the best Swan lake we have ever seen. My husband and I never thought we would experience anything to equal Natalia Makarova's sublime Odette/Odile seen with ABT in New York. Well it has taken 30 years to happen, but Natalia Osipova's performance last night has proved us wrong. It was so good I cannot think of a superlative good enough to describe her! Superb performances also by Matthew Golding, Gary Avis, Elisabeth McGorian and the wonderful Corps de ballet.
    Congratulations to everyone on such a brilliant, brilliant night. Please re-think sharing this with the world.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 1:35pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Sandie. I'll certainly pass on the hugely positive reaction to the performance. If anything changes I'll let you know.

      Best wishes


  39. Enid Martland responded on 18 March 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

    Watched Swan Lake in Wigan Absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end Fab to go behind the scenes and see the dancers warming up Everyone was fantastic and the youngsters from the Royal Ballet School were amazing Totally blended in with the Corps De Ballet Can't wait for the next one Thank you for giving us this opportunity to see without having to travel to London ,and having a programme is a lovely touch

    • Maxine Moller responded on 18 March 2015 at 3:00pm

      If Swan Lake with Osipova and Golding was being filmed (I believe on 2 nights) as well as the Live Relay in Cinemas, surely this is because a DVD is planned. It would be a tragedy if this is not the case. There is no Swan Lake to touch this one, with Osipova and Golding. They were a miracle.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:26pm

      Dear Maxine

      Thanks for your comments - delighted to hear that you enjoyed the performance so much.

      We will let you know if a decision is made to release on DVD.

      Best wishes


  40. Yolanda responded on 18 March 2015 at 1:59pm Reply


    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:31pm

      Dear Yolanda

      We will let you know if we make the decision to release on DVD.

      Best wishes


  41. Yuko responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:00pm Reply

    Yes, please do release a DVD of this cast. I know that a DVD of this production has already been released but this wonderful cast with brilliant Natalia and Matthew truly deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. And I bet it will sell well!

  42. Karen Falkner responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:05pm Reply

    How wonderful it is to share in some of the wonder of seeing a ballet performance by viewing it live on screen at the movies. Wonderful it was, BUT ..... some of the lighting and staging was very dark and at times it was difficult to distinguish the dancers. This was particularly so in the third and final acts. Atmosphere yes please, but there is a need for practicality. Too dark a staging with dark costumes etc means its hard to see. My other criticism relates to current obsession/taste for the very thin. Am I the only one that found the cameras ability to show us the dancers close up, particularly the female soloists, who are inevitably much more skimpily dressed than male dancers, distressingly thin. Instead of being held transfixed by the beauty of their movement I was aghast that they seemed to be skin and bone with a layer of muscle.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:30pm

      Dear Karen

      Thank you for your feedback. Could I check where you were watching? Some customers in certain cinemas have had issues with the brightness of the screening and we will pass this on to the venue.

      I can assure you that we take the health of our dancers very seriously, and they are supported in every way - from nutrition to injury prevention. They are actually extremely fit athletes as well as artists, and this inevitably means that they look different from us ordinary humans!

      Best wishes


  43. roger responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:32pm Reply

    this was an excellent experience, great performanes all round, not just from the Megapova but the solists and corps. re previous comments, ROH is missing a trick not to release DVDs of these big name performances, riding the wave of their popularity. people typically buy DVDs for the principals, not for the production - and Natalia is an international draw. I have the Nunez bluray but would happily add this..

  44. Francesca responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:41pm Reply

    I have seen many Swan Lake performances and DVD and this was by far the best in the last 15 years! Natalia gave us a deep, moving and powerful interpretation of Odette! I know that there's already a DVD of Royal Ballet Swan Lake.
    I hope you will change idea and you'll release a DVD for this performance, For Sure It will be a great success!!!! Please let me know if something is changing!
    Thanks for your attention.
    Have a great evening

  45. Albert Cat responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

    It almost feels disloyal to the many brilliant Odette/Odiles I've seen over the years to say so, but the Osipova/Golding pairing (and entire cast) last night was the best I've ever seen: truly out of this world. I watched it live from the amphi, but would love to see it again (and again). Please consider issuing a DVD of this mesmerising performance.

  46. Robert Hughes responded on 18 March 2015 at 2:54pm Reply

    Saw this in Burnley last night. Almost full auditorium. Did not expect to enjoy it - only went to take ballet enthusiast granddaughter, but really enjoyed every minute and found myself clapping. Unfortunately most of the audience seemed too inhibited to clap in the cinema - what a shame.

  47. Robert Hughes responded on 18 March 2015 at 3:00pm Reply

    I see comments about a DVD. How fantastic would this performance be in 3D !!

  48. Jenni Burgess responded on 18 March 2015 at 3:56pm Reply

    Oh that was a truly marvellous experience, thank you so much. I've seen so many productions of Swan Lake and this was by far the best. Watched in small town in south west France. The dancing was impeccable, sets and costumes divine, and the filming was simply perfect. I disagree with the person who objected to the close-ups, it was a joy to be able to see the expressions on the dancer's faces especially Natalia Osipova who was so convincing in her anguish. So congratulations and great thanks to all the dancers, and a special commendation for the film crew. We won't be missing another live relay . . . .Mahagonny here we come!

  49. Robert Hitchings responded on 18 March 2015 at 3:56pm Reply

    Like many others, this was the first ballet I have seen. I was simply overwhelmed by the Osipova and Golding, and, I must add by all the swans. Magnificent. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this. The cinema in Bishop's Stortford was packed - I didn't know our town was a hotbed of ballet lovers!!

  50. Sandra responded on 18 March 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

    Saw this wonderful performance in France but as you know we are one hour in front of the UK. The programme didn't finish until 11 pm. Would it possible to screen these classic performances (recorded) in the afternoons to allow many elderly residents to come and enjoy the events too.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:22pm

      Dear Sandra

      Do check the timing of the 'encore' screenings near you. In the UK they are often on Sunday afternoon, which is a really pleasant experience. If your cinema follows a different format then do share your feedback with them.

      Check for encores here:

      Best wishes


  51. Willaim Woolhouse responded on 18 March 2015 at 5:00pm Reply

    This production will scrapped not before time.
    The best production by far is that of Birmingham Royal Ballet staged by the peerless Sir Peter Wright,I hope he stages the new long awaited production at Covent Garden.Osipova reminds me of a very young Svetlana Berisova.
    The sets looked so dark again ot the Odeon Kettering.This was the case with Manon and Giselle.I hope it will not happen with La Fille Mal Gardee in june.
    Can you have a word with the projection people please.Why do people have to gorge themselves on sweets and popcorn at these live screenings ? is infuriating.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:20pm

      Dear William

      Thanks for your comments.

      Sorry to hear about the darkness of the screening - we will liaise with the venue.

      Best wishes


  52. Rosemary Ryde responded on 18 March 2015 at 5:37pm Reply

    Spectacular, world class performances by all, congratulations ! Matthew Golding and Natalia Osipova were divine and technically superb with a tangible emotional connection. Fabulous partnering by Matthew. What a waste not to release a DVD please reconsider !

  53. Steph Jackson responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

    I have seen many performances of Swan Lake but this production will take some beating with breathtaking performances from Natalia Osipova, Matthew Golding, Gary Avis, Elisabeth McGorian, Pas de Trois and the Corps de Ballet.
    I agree wholeheartedly with one of the comments already posted that it is a great shame that there are no plans to release a DVD of this version in the near future.

  54. karenb responded on 18 March 2015 at 6:51pm Reply

    I was at Reading showcase last night and it was dark there too. I've been to every live screening of both opera and ballet from Covent Garden and the lighting has been inconsistent. In the early days it was always too dark, then it definitely improved but last night the first two acts were very gloomy - variations on a theme of brown in act 1! Having said all that it was a wonderful evening of outstanding dancing. Osipova certainly the best Odette/ Odile I've ever seen and what a marvellous partnership with Golding. I too am looking forward to the dvd .....please!

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:00pm

      Thanks for your feedback, Karen, we will pass it onto our cinema team.

      Best wishes


  55. Lyndall Beatty responded on 18 March 2015 at 7:33pm Reply

    Congratulations to Boris Gruzin for producing such a wonderful sound from the orchestra, especially when you think that there are 11 or more consecutive performances. I thought that it was filmed better this time, ie less close ups. The sets have always been too fussy so it was bound to be difficult to pick out the dancers. Finally I would like to say that I thought Matthew Golding a superb partner all the way through - lucky Osipova!

  56. Penny W responded on 18 March 2015 at 8:20pm Reply

    I was spell-bound and mesmerised throughout. I have never watched a ballet before, I think I chose the best one ever as my first. The costumes and scenery were wonderful. Thank you for a magical experience

  57. Bridie Macmahon responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:00pm Reply

    A really wonderful performance, and beautifully filmed - congratulations and thanks to all involved. And thank you for the excellent interviews and background filming - it would have been easy to skimp on this aspect but it was thrilling, and Darcey Bussell was an expert and charming presenter. Osipova is tremendous and complements the expansiveness (and Russian-ness) of this production; please do issue this as a DVD if possible so that her performance in this production is captured for us and future generations.

  58. Anne Hall responded on 18 March 2015 at 10:33pm Reply

    Please consider releasing this performance on DVD as it has to be one of the most memorable ballets that I have ever seen. Natalia is just perfection.

  59. Carole Millere responded on 18 March 2015 at 11:17pm Reply

    An evening of wonderful dancing from everyone. Lovely costumes, but over-fussy scenery in the 'Black Act'. Also lovely playing from the orchestra but over-loud in the Vue Cinema in Livingston. It was also too loud for the 'Flying Dutchman'. Looking forward to 'Le Fille Mal Guardee'

  60. Sue Hughes responded on 18 March 2015 at 11:28pm Reply

    I watched this marvellous production of Swan Lake at the Chelsea Curzon Cinema which surprisingly was not fully booked last night. I thought the camera work was terrific allowing us to see close ups of the dancers as well as members of the orchestra and back-stage shots and the sound system in the cinema did justice to the wonderful music. Living in central London I am fortunate to be able to visit the ROH to enjoy some performances but I think the idea of live streaming to a cinema brings an extra dimension to the experience as I enjoyed the interviews with Darcy and felt I gained more from the experience than just the enjoyment of watching superb dancers on stage. I would definitely attend similar events.

  61. Thank goodness for Encore screenings! We get to see the magic again!

  62. Clive Burton responded on 19 March 2015 at 8:20am Reply

    Enjoyed this Swan Lake in my local cinema immensely: I had a clear and unobstructed view of the stage that in my usual seat in the front six rows of the ROH Stalls. Excellent camera work and sound ensured that the performance itself was captured sympathetically. Very well presented by Darcey Bussell. I shall be going to more of these relays in future. A comfortable cinema seat (and glass of wine) half a mile from my home and at an eighth of the cost of my usual ROH Stalls seat. What's not to like? I am now hoping for pay-per-view live options on television.

  63. Sue Mayo responded on 19 March 2015 at 8:22am Reply

    I cannot add to the other comments about the excellence of this performance. I agree with Sue Hugues about the close- ups. The big screen makes you forget that it is in fact a performance as you enter the magic world of Swan Lake. Yes here in Europe it is an hour later but being in a local cinema it is only a short journey home and (as I said last time) all this glory for 12 Euros! Thankyou.

  64. joan Hance responded on 19 March 2015 at 8:55am Reply

    Swan Lake Wonderful, but seemed very dark except where closeups were used. We were at the Odeon in Salisbury Wilts

  65. Jo of Surrey. responded on 19 March 2015 at 1:04pm Reply

    Swan Lake 17 March digital programme at the Maltings, Farnham, Surrey, the best evening of ballet I have ever experienced Osipova was perfection and Golding too. Please advise when the DVD of this production with same dancers is available. Thanks.

  66. Mandy Mansworth responded on 19 March 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

    Swan Lake was the first ballet i have seen at the cinema - it was totally captivating and Natalia Osipova was stunning, moving and just incredible. I have seen your replies to some other comments asking about a DVD - I REALLY hope you are going to produce one from this performance as it was magical - it would clearly be very popular.

  67. Joanna Thompson responded on 19 March 2015 at 2:03pm Reply

    Wonderful experience watching Swan Lake for the first time. It was a pleasure to view it at the Bath Odeon - comfortable and a great view. Darcy Bussell was excellent and informative. Best of all I loved the live aspect as it felt as though we were there with the performers feeling their excitement and anticipation.

  68. Simon responded on 19 March 2015 at 2:11pm Reply

    I would echo what has been said by so many. Having been lucky enough to attend last Friday's performance with the same cast (with excellent front row orchestral stalls seats), the Keswick cinema relay provided an extra dimension and detail (albeit of the director's choosing). It is massively important for ROH to make its productions as widely available as possible to audiences through its cinema relays and capture excellence for posterity through DVDs.
    Natalia gave us the most lovely, vulnerable Odette and a truly sensational Odile, excelling in both roles and giving a resounding answer to the Darcey Bussell cinema discussion about ballerinas being stronger as either a white or black swan. Matthew exuded stage presence despite the absence of the Act 1 solo. I very much enjoyed the Pas de Trois and all the swans, with a special thanks to Francesca - here's hoping it won't be too long for her cygnet to become the swan.
    We're truly privileged indeed to see Natalia et al with Boris Gruzin and the ROH orchestra in such splendid form and I do hope that it will prove possible for this Swan Lake to be issued as a DVD.

  69. Kristina responded on 19 March 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

    Der ROH-Team,
    what a great performance this was. I have seen quite a number of Swan Lake productions - including the DVD of this production with Nunez as Odette/Odile. Yet I would like to ask, no, make that beg you to release this performance on DVD. I can honestly say that I have never, NEVER seen a better performance, and I have certainly never seen a better Odette/Odile. Please, please, please release this performance on DVD! I have a number of friends who weren't able to watch the performance in cinema, and there are sadly no encore screenings here in Germany. It would be a shame not to be able to show them just how breathtaking and magnificent Osipova, Golding, and the rest were!

  70. Stuart Dixon responded on 19 March 2015 at 3:39pm Reply

    I agree with others about the lighting, or lack of, I was at the Cineworld in Enfield and the arrival of the swans at the end of Act 1 was completely missed on the screen.
    Can I add my voice to the request for a DVD. I imagine that permission has to be sought and agreed from all kinds of people, but if you can please do. This must be kept for posterity.

  71. Stuart Dixon responded on 19 March 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

    To add to my comments above. I agree with an early correspondence regarding the cast sheets. The one handed out at the cinema, and the one you can download, only contain the casting of the principals whereas the one available at the ROH has the casting of the smaller roles. Why can't you send to the cinemas the same one you hand out in the theatre?

  72. V. Roots responded on 19 March 2015 at 6:44pm Reply

    Saw swan lake on the 17th March in Bracknell. Dancing was super but would be nice if Osipova had smiled more!

  73. francois responded on 19 March 2015 at 10:00pm Reply

    Me too I think that performance must be released in DVD, or at least as a podcast on the Royal Ballet Youtube channel. Something special happened, chiefly during Osipova's Adage, which made that evening almost historical. This kind of emotion rarely happens in a theatre's life and he would really be a pity if it were to remain only in the Royal Ballet's internal archives

  74. K Barton responded on 20 March 2015 at 3:04am Reply

    Watched this in Miami, Florida - totally enthralled by dancing, lighting, sets and wonderful production. Can't wait to buy DVD. Brilliant ROH :)

  75. My first ballet performance dates to George Balanchine's Nutcracker (1953). My first Swan Lake was American Ballet Theater’s production performed at BAM in the 1970’s. Other productions I’ve seen include John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet, Matthew Bourne, Rudi Van Danzig’s Het National Ballet, the Bolshoi 1975 production as well as Grigorovitch restaging earlier this year. That said, I cannot recall a performance that has ever moved me more than your screening tonight. Simply stunning. It was also wonderful to see/hear Darcy Bussell, Cynthia Harvey, Jonathon Cope, the two young girls, Francesca Hayward, Christopher Carr, Samantha Raine, and Anthony Dowell. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House sounded magnificent and the camera seemed to always be where I hoped it would be and the lighting was and designs fantastic. Just the BEST ROH. Haven't missed one of your screenings in the past four years. It's time to try one Rep night in the Cinema.

  76. Forgot to add, saw Swan Lake in Tampa, FL.

  77. Rmills responded on 20 March 2015 at 6:37am Reply

    Wonderful production, loved Osipova. Mixed feeling on the black act but I hope a DVD will be released. Also did anyone catch the names of the young dancers that were interviewed and danced with the tudor? Blown away by only 3 years of practice. Cant find a complete cast list anywhere.

  78. Sandra responded on 20 March 2015 at 8:22am Reply

    Please, please, please, we need a DVD of this performance! I'd even buy two if necessary!

  79. Nick B responded on 20 March 2015 at 9:12am Reply

    Too wonderful not to bring out on DVD!

  80. Liana responded on 20 March 2015 at 12:34pm Reply

    Another plea to please release this performance on DVD! I was there on Tuesday and I will be tracking down an encore in the cinema to watch it again. Truly one of (if not the) best performance of this ballet I have seen.

  81. Jim Moffitt responded on 20 March 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

    Wonderful to see such a first rate production in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Splendid dancing, and I enjoyed the additional material too. I will look forward to future presentations.

  82. Ailsa Ellen responded on 20 March 2015 at 8:52pm Reply

    Saw this wonderful Swan Lake in California. The 2 leads were superb .....wonderful dancers and actors ....and the interaction between them was riveting.

    However must complain about the camera work..the first act was the dancers moved around so did the camera, I was getting sea sick. Also in many shots, half of the dancers feet were cut off ( I think you need a camera technician who is very familiar with ballet). I did like the close-ups, that's the best advantage of a movie. The camera work improved as the ballet progressed (the first act was the worst)

    The production was fussy but it was a beautiful fantasy.

  83. Neil Blackwell responded on 20 March 2015 at 11:46pm Reply

    Congratulations to all the endeavors that created this superb production and so pleased you will release it as a DVD. I almost passed going to see the broadcast in Dallas as I had recently seen the Bolshoi broadcast of Swan Lake. Thankfully I made the drive to the local UA Regal Cinema on March 19 where I was rewarded with a spectacular display of artistic wonders. Natalia Osipova was perfection....and Matthew Golding was delightful to behold. My only suggestion is for the costume and set designers to coordinate their plans. The scenes at the masquerade ball were very dark and when you combine that with the dark tights Matthew wore, it was difficult to make out his lower outline when he went deep into the back stage where lighting was minimal to nonexistent. When he was in the forefront, it was not a problem. For that reason, I would have lightened the color of the tights. There are several comments about the dark lighting, and in general the darkness of the production didn't affect me other than to make Matthew often disappear with his dark clothing. The production quality overall was extremely high and the local audience was very appreciative. Hope to acquire the DVD and also see more ROH masterpieces on film. Cheers.

  84. Sheila B. responded on 21 March 2015 at 3:51am Reply

    ROH's Swan Lake on the night it was telecast to the world and my Naperville, IL cinema was other-worldly. That particular night must be preserved on a DVD to show total perfection accompanied by a special magic that overwhelmed me. Those dancers sculpted the choreography with the music in a way that made Tchaikovsky's marvelous score sound even better, so alive, somehow.

  85. Bruce Wall responded on 22 March 2015 at 6:22pm Reply

    Attended the encore showing of the RB Swan Lake starring Osipova and Golding on Sunday, 22nd March 2015 (commencing at 2.00 pm) at the Vue Cinema in Angel/Islington in London.

    The cinema relay was so dark that it was virtually impossible to readily witness much of the core content let alone detail. If one did not know what was happening at the end of the first act you would never have been able to guess. The prince, the guards and the young cadets - whether sober or intoxicated - where wholly enveloped in darkness. As another example it was virtually impossible to see Golding's Act III variation as his costume blended in with the general darkness of the floor and much of his surround in this relay. 'You cannot see his legs' one man screamed at the screen.

    Indeed the whole enterprise appeared to have been placed in the dark of deepest night.

    Complaints were raised to the General Manager, Andrew Hoey. He said that nothing could be done vis a vis the cinema's receipt of the relay. He said the fault (which he readily acknowledged) lay at the hands of the ROH relay team.

    There were many patrons attending who were in utter disgust at the waste of their valuable time and general disappointment. Another Manager, Mark, gave me - as was offered to other patrons - a full refund. I left at the end of the third act as I simply could take no more.

    One woman had only come to this relay from out of town because it was in advance of the Anne McGuire Gala at Sadlers Wells. She was so upset she said she was going to sell her seat for the gala (which is sold out) and return home early. Not a happy situation I think.

    This was the first time I, myself, had seen a relay by the Royal Ballet. Blessedly I had seen the production copious times in the Opera House itself. Many attending at the Angel Vue cinema said they would not attend another ROH relay - of any description - be it there or anywhere else.

    May I suggest that all rights to broadcast future ROH fare be removed forthwith with immediate effect from this venue. You would, I think, be doing yourself a favour.


    Dr. R B S Wall

  86. B woolsey responded on 23 March 2015 at 11:27am Reply

    Encore viewing 22nd, at Vue Islington .
    Colour all wrong . Orange faces , Prince blue suit --black '
    Green suited dancing officers--Black .
    So dark all detail missed , This same cinema listed as poor for live showing17th .
    I saw it live in odeon maidenhead and all colour tint correct and a WONDEROUS VIEWING .
    Encore at Vue 22nd,was just appalling . cinema claim they cannot adjust colour . Can this not be done at testing by cinema prior to showing .?
    Tell us once &for all can the colour be adjusted by cinema and at what point .??
    They say they cannot adjust ,my understanding is they can, at testing of sound /picture.-- Who is correct ?.
    Why did I see a picture colour perfection and on another showing, so dark could not see the legs of the dancers, and colours of costumes obliterated to a grey/black !!!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 24 March 2015 at 1:46pm


      Sorry to hear about the technical problems experienced at the Vue cinema in Islington. An investigation is underway and the technical fault seems to be specific to this particular site - others saw the performance at other Vue cinemas and said the image had been superior. Engineers have been dispatched to this particular venue to fix the fault.

      I do hope that this experience won't dissuade you from joining us for another cinema relay - we are working with the venue to ensure it doesn't occur again.


      ROH Content Producer

  87. Fiona Dunn responded on 23 March 2015 at 3:06pm Reply

    What a wonderful way to spend yesterday afternoon at the Cinema in Wisbech for the Encore mattinee of Swan Lake. I loved Act 1, the energy and dancing of the Corps was breath-taking, also their Swans were amazing, absolute synchronicity. I admire Matthew Golding's technique and elevation, and I thought that Ms. Osipova is a dazzling performer. It is always a pleasure to watch Yuhui Choe, and Darcey Bussell's presentation and interviews are so entertaining and interesting, they are an absolute pleasure to watch. Thank you ROH!

  88. Jeannette Ardan responded on 24 March 2015 at 4:47pm Reply

    I loved the performance which I saw in Oxford. Having seen many productions of Swan Lake I was surprised by two changes. The music for Act 4 was unknown to me and not the usual very mournful music that I was expecting. Also in other productions in Act 3 the Prince dances with the four foreign princesses, rejecting them before Odile and Von Rothbart arrive.
    I loved the dancing but these two differences somewhat marred the evening for me.

  89. Joy L. responded on 25 March 2015 at 1:16am Reply

    7 complaints from customers in different cinemas (one in the States, I think) about the lighting being too dark and I make complaint number 8 suffering a similar experience at Tower Park, Poole on Sunday. You can't put all this down to coincidence and I don't think it is simply just the cinema or even something wrong with the outside broadcast. I saw this same production at the Opera House itself with Acosta and Nunez this season and in my opinion the lighting towards the back of the stage seemed minimal to non existent then. The eye accommodates a greater range of contrast then cameras so I don't think it surprising you are getting problems with a TV broadcast if that was my experience in the theatre itself. I have noticed the lighting becoming increasingly 'atmospheric' for some productions these last seasons to the detriment of being able to see (e.g. Manon, Giselle). It is OK downstage but upstage it is becoming difficult to enjoy the corps de ballet without eyestrain! (I usually sit in the stalls circle by the way). It seems to me there is a bit of lighting the set rather than the dancers here. Haven't wanted to say anything before as what do I know about lighting ballet but the comments above have made me feel I must speak out. By the way I get my eyes tested yearly as I wear contact lenses and have just had them checked and they are fine! Would be interested to know if anyone else feels the same way.

  90. Anna responded on 25 March 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

    This ballet was spectacular - I saw it at the ROH on Tuesday and was so breathtaken that I went to the encore on Sunday. Which was AWFUL.
    You must get cameras higher up than the back of the stalls to film the corps - they just looked like a load of frantic bodies thrashing around rather than the stunning, graceful dances and patterns they were creating from higher up in the auditorium.
    You must sort this out, it makes filming ballets pointless. Apart from this the sound was too low and the contrast too dark to see the back of the stage but this may have been the fault of the projectionist.

    • Jakegee responded on 26 March 2015 at 9:39am

      Anna, your comment both amazes and amuses me!! Your comment is number 103 - if you read through the earlier comments, they are almost invariably hugely complimentary of the cinema relay, other than perhaps technical problems in individual cinemas. There has been an enormous demand for this performance to be released on DVD, which has fortunately been successful!!

      These cinema screenings, and the frequently subsequent DVDs, are directed by Ross MacGibbon who is a former dancer with Royal Ballet and is THE expert in that field. I think you ought to respect that HE surely knows best!! If you want a more elevated view, then, yes, go to the Royal Opera House and "you pays your money & you takes your seat"!!

      The live cinema relays are a wonderful privilege which allows hundreds of thousands of fortunate people to see those productions at a fraction of the cost, and most would probably either be unable to afford a seat or be physically unable to travel to Covent Garden due to distance, hotel costs etc.

      Anna, just COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!! I don't think anyone else would share your view of "a load of frantic bodies thrashing around ...." You are totally disrespectful of the wonderful Corps de Ballet and their beautiful performance. And also of the filming team and their very capable director.

  91. James Klosty responded on 27 March 2015 at 2:40am Reply

    I see now, happily, that there will be a dvd
    release but would still prefer to see it in a theater so I repeat my question: will there be a US encore presentation?

  92. Lawrence Outten responded on 27 March 2015 at 1:57pm Reply

    I have seen Swan Lake many times, but never like this. The two principals were absolutely stunning and the corps de ballet was flawless. Thanks so much to RBT for one of the most memorable evenings of my very long life.

  93. Jacqueline Evans responded on 27 March 2015 at 11:00pm Reply

    As I was unable to see the Cinema screenings of Swan Lake due to a sudden illness, I have just read all the comments about the live performance, and am delighted to see that a DVD will be released. I have the Nunez/Costa version.....but I have obviously missed something spectacular!! I agree that these performances should be kept for posterity, (as they obviously are these days) but if kept only in a grand vault somewhere, then the magic and awe would be denied to a large body of fans.
    Many years ago I was lucky enough to see Margot Fonteyn dance on her final farewell tour. Though in her fifties by then, she was still able to 'be' a young sixteen year old Juliet, just by the toss of the head and hair, and the emotional interpretation, in the balcony scene, pas de deux. It is that simple gesture that I have locked in my mind. How I wish that there had been some form of simple recording there that night, as a performance is so fleeting, as we know.

  94. Stephen Frost responded on 29 March 2015 at 11:57pm Reply

    A stunning performance from Natalia Osipova! I think she is the best ballerina ever, and she is still improving! You should and must work hard to keep her at the Royal Ballet..Please make sure she is happy, and it is not all about money as I am sure you know. I thought the little girls, Manon and Emily-Rose, were delightful and a wonderful role model for all girls of their age, The DVD, when completed, should be shown in every bog-standard comprehensive school in the country. There is a desperate need to raise standards in this country, and, if I were a headteacher, I would ensure that every child in my school saw what can be achieved by hard work and determination. Hats off to Tchaikovsky and all the other dancers and to the orchestra! Well done to the Royal Ballet in succeeding to attract Natalia Osipova in the first place! What a coup?!

  95. Manon1753 responded on 30 March 2015 at 1:51am Reply

    My local cinema, the César in Apt (France, Vaucluse), will be showing the Encore on Friday 3 April at 15:00 local time.

  96. Geoff responded on 30 March 2015 at 6:41pm Reply

    Just read through all the comments. Osipova is indeed a wonder and we are all very lucky to see her. But very many people - in different cinemas in different parts of the world - have said their screening was too dark, so I hope ROH will try harder than just adding lame lines such as "we will liaise with the venue" as if they have done nothing wrong (I suspect a tricky combination of the production and costume design, the stage lighting insufficiently adapted for tv, the tv recording not attending as best as possible, and then the gain on the stream, as well as individual cinemas).

    My problem was a different one. I saw this on encore at Vue London Swiss Cottage / Finchley Road on Sunday 22nd March. Never mind the picture quality, we didn't have ANY SOUND for the pre-show, the overture and a fair bit of Act 1. The cinema repeatedly told us that the problem was nothing to do with them - every cinema getting this stream was suffering the same problem they said (in which case it's a little odd that no one else has posted this fault here) - and we got a voucher for a free seat in the future.

    So, was Vue misleading us - or did the ROH mess up the Sunday encore stream?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 9 April 2015 at 11:19am

      Dear Geoff

      Apologies for the delay in responding - we were checking with our cinema team, and then were distracted by the disruption around the Holborn fire.

      The problems you describe - lack of sound and image quality - are definitely local to individual cinemas. The discrepancy in image quality is due to the differences in settings and display parameters across projection equipment. We send cinemas all the guidelines required for them to show our content in the best possible conditions but we have to rely on them to maintain the same output in between tests and shows.

      The cinema in question has offered some compensation but your comments will be passed on to the technical team. Please do feel free to take this up with Vue London Swiss Cottage yourself. I myself was watching the relay at Curzon Mayfair and the picture and sound quality were both excellent.

      It may seem like there are many complaints, but when you consider that our relays run in hundreds of cinemas it is unsurprising.

      Best wishes


  97. Robert F. Zimmerman responded on 31 March 2015 at 9:30pm Reply

    A fantastic ballet with heavenly dancers and sets. I can not wait to purchase the DVD and hope someone will tell me when it can be purchased. Please play it again in an HD theater - it deserves an encore

  98. Antonio Colom responded on 5 April 2015 at 4:39pm Reply

    Hi, I live in Puerto Rico; thus, could not see the screening of the ROH, Osipova/Golding's Swam Lake. Judging by the posted opinions, it seems it was really magnificent and a mesmerizing experience. So, I feel extremely happy that this production will be released in DVD. Please, please, make sure it is released in a DVD format that can also be seen on this corner of the world. Oh, how exciting! I can hardly wait!!! Thanks a lot!

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