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(Oct 26, 2010)
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're unfamiliar with the history of Tchaikovsky's first ballet, you might be inclined to skip someone else's "version" -- which would be a mistake because every Swan Lake staging is one adaptation or another of the composer's original.
Displeased with the only moderate success of Swan Lake's 1877 premiere, Tchaikovsky (and others) reworked many of its moving parts before it left the boards in 1883, having received 41 performances. After Tchaikovsky's death, a revival was produced in 1895 under the eminent ballet master Marius Petipa, assisted by choreographer Lev Ivanov. A new script was requested from Tchaikovsky's brother Modeste, who modified the bleak ending by having Odette dive into the lake to commit suicide, with Siegfried following suit, before the lovers' spirits rise up in an idealized apotheosis.
Revisions were made to Modeste's revision. Further revisions, re-orchestrations, a shuffling of numbers, and even additional music ensued -- with Petipa choreographing Acts I and III and Lev Ivanov doing Acts II and IV -- before the 1895 staging that fixed Swan Lake in the repertoire in the form from which subsequent productions derive.
Modifications continued through the 20th century. Stalin, whose close eye on the arts in the Soviet Union is well documented, liked happy endings in which fairy tales became real for the perfect workers' state, and so a "happy" ending for Swan Lake became traditional.Read more ›
It’s a modern dance (as compared with ballet) production in which the swans are actually dancing in a “lake” on stage filled with WATER! Though there are a few female dancers (ballerinas?) on their toes, most of the action is having the dancers “foot surfing” (I can’t seem to find another word to describe this) across the stage.
Before we get to the water (lake) however – we have Act I which is really funny and in English. There’s a hint of Tchaikovsky’s music here and the costumes are great.
Once Act Two begins – it’s all about the water. Joining the swans splashing around is a tuba player playing a New Orleans Brass Band theme and the n joined by a violinist who keep up the original jazz score. Soo there are hundreds of rubber ducks (really!) falling from the sky and the dancers play with an array of beach balls. Oh then there is the Shark who arrives and the singing Soprano! Finally things on stage get “electrifying” (literally) before the 98 minute production comes to an end!
Recorded for Norwegian TV in wonderful HD at a live performance – this 2014 production has to be seen to be believed.Read more ›
Artistic liberties have been taken by the direction, including a more unique, modern setting than other productions of this ballet that I have seen on stage and video. Also, if you have young children who will be viewing this version, be aware that the overture has an odd scene that has been added that is blatantly sexual. For me, "Swan Lake" should open on a happy Tchaikovsky-esque group celebration, not a shirtless prince jumping into a lone bed with a girl in a nightie (Odette?) on an otherwise empty stage--
I personally prefer more classic renditions of older ballets, and the Royal Opera House videos I've seen here on amazon are more to my liking. They have very beautiful and lavish costuming and sets that I enjoy, without the strange added content that I don't want my young kids to see, nor do I care to see myself either.
Others might appreciate this production more than I do--
But it would have been nice to know that this version is less kid-friendly before I put out the $
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I know nothing of ballet, but I was trying find something my daughter can watch before starting her ballet class next week.
This is not for kids. Spoiler alert. Read more
I did enjoy this version of Swan Lake but it is not one of my favorites. My very favorite is the American Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake with Gillian Murphy and Angel Corella. Read morePublished 12 months ago by cjcnyc
This came really quick. High quality and really nice version. Highly reccommendPublished 12 months ago by Pumpkinna
Was fully satisfied with the purchase, it had been viewed on an international flight back to Australia, and decided I would like my own copyPublished 13 months ago by Ross
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