The world’s most famous ballet
Swan Lake is probably the most famous ballet in the world. The lovely music by Peter Tchaikovsky is known worldwide. The FNOB boasts an extensive tradition in performing Swan Lake: it was the first ever work performed by the ballet of the Finnish Opera in 1922. Kenneth Greve’s new version has been performed to capacity crowds since 2009. Swan Lake is recommended for viewers over the age of 6.
A fresh version by Kenneth Greve
The beautiful version of Swan Lake created by Kenneth Greve, Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet, is fresh but respcts tradition. “I have never understood why the Prince should fall in love with a bird. In my version, the Prince encounters Odette when she is in the form of a beautiful woman,” says Greve. Greve’s choreography is based on the most famous version of them all, the Swan Lake of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov from 1895.
In their childhood, Prince Siegfried and his friend Benno hear the story of Swan Lake and of the beautiful princess turned into a swan by the curse of an evil wizard. The princess will be saved when a prince shoots the wizard. Later, when it is time for Siegfried to find a bride, he and Benno are out hunting. Benno fears that he will lose the Prince if the Prince gets married. At a forest lake, the Prince sees a beautiful swan that transforms into the young Princess Odette for one hour every midnight.
Siegfried falls in love with the Princess, but she is controlled by the sinister von Rothbart. Odette is changed back into a swan by von Rothbart. Benno realises that he has lost Siegfried to a swan, and von Rothbart strikes up an alliance with him. The wizard transforms Benno into a black swan.
The Prince, at his engagement party, thinks of the maiden he met in the woods and asks von Rothbart to bring him the swan. Von Rothbart brings in the black swan, and the Prince proposes to it. Immediately von Rothbart reveals the Prince’s infidelity to the white swan. Back at the lake, the Prince finds his swan and begs for her forgiveness. As von Rothbart attempts to prevent the Prince and the swan from reconciling, Benno – realising he has been exploited in the intrigue – decides to help his friend and sacrifices himself, jumping into the lake. The Prince eventually finds the swan and frees her from the wizard’s curse.
More information in programme booklet.
“I respect the culminations of the original work; I have not changed them at all. What I have done is to condense the story and provided some completely new choreography.”
– Kenneth Greve, choreographer
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