Review: Swan Lake - New York City Center

Swan Lake - New York City Center

After watching this mesmerizing performance, I do not think that I shall ever look at swans the same way again.
Interesting tidbit: Did you know that swans have only one mate for life?

Sigh! How eternal does that sound? No wonder Tchaikovsky decided to create this visually compelling and musically sublime master piece.

What makes Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake interesting, is that it presented an entirely different ethos of the master piece. The piece-de-resistance turns out to be that very ideal, that it was not the prima ballerina, but the Premier danseur noble who turns the entire production upside down and transforms the simple magnificence of such beautiful tunes into utter majesty.

Using male ballet dancers for the primary roles, this production show cases the mesh of strength and flexibility, of perfect straight lines and delicious languor.

Act 1:
Enter prince (who has a bit of a fetish for swans) is dreaming of the beautiful snobbish bird. He has a beautiful, rather scandalous mother who was raised to believe that proficiency in her public life is all that matters. This however, leads her to become rather empathetically handicapped. Pity really. It messes up the prince's emotional equilibrium. He is rather charmed by a girl, who is not as posh as his mother would would like. Pity again. He ends up in the lake and starts dancing with swans as a result.

Here I wish I could just leave the lake scene as brief as that, but I absolutely can't. It is a powerful rendition of amazing acrobatic moves that seem so effortless, and presents a potion of raw power and synchronization. The production has an amazing take on the use of modern lighting and costumes. Action filled and compelling. It is a complex story, but one that is beautifully told.

Act 2:
Prince likes a swan.

Act 3:
Prince notices someone in the ball who resembles the swan, but the swan-look-alike goes around seducing every other person in the room. Prince is upset and shoots the girl (please keep track :) )

Act 4:
Tragedy. But ends in hope.

There! I hope that makes you get up and watch it. Its a brilliant. Not quite like the original that was told in the Russian Imperial Theater many years ago, but it was an absolutely, gob-smacking, finger-licking DeLiciOuS treat for the senses.


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