Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by the Kirov Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, conducted by Valery Gergiev and starring prima ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina.

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For a ballerina like me, the most spectacular and magical


It's about a young prince who falls in love with the beautiful Princess Odette,


who has been transformed into a swan by the evil magician Rothbart.


To break the spell, the prince has to declare undying love for Odette.


But he's tricked into swearing his love for Rothbart's daughter, Odile.


Both roles are danced by the same ballerina. It's a real challenge,


and watching the dancer find the contrast between the white swan, Odette, and the black swan, Odile,


is fascinating.


In this production, they're played by the prima ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina,


whose interpretation of the dual role is captivating.


Performed by the world famous Maryinsky Ballet in St Petersburg,


Tchaikovsky's romantic score is conducted by the charismatic maestro Valery Gergiev.




'At the beginning of the ballet, the prince is celebrating


'his 21st birthday with his friends.


'The mood is set by a musical introduction.'


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 683 seconds






Apology for the loss of subtitles for 683 seconds




Apology for the loss of subtitles for 683 seconds




Apology for the loss of subtitles for 683 seconds




Apology for the loss of subtitles for 683 seconds


The solitary figure of the Prince the Maryinski Ballet Company taking-


at the end of one of the most famous scenes in classical ballet.


They really are beautifully precise in every move they make.


And here is Ulyana Lopatkina who's dancing the Swan Queen Odette


and her partner Danila Korsuntsev who's dancing Prince Siegfried.


I love the lakeside act in Swan Lake.


It's a chance to show off your lyricism as a dancer


and it's really much harder than it looks.


I'm going to use the interval to show you how the choreography


portrays the different characters of the White Swan Odette and the Black Swan Odile,


who makes her dazzling appearance in the next act.


As a ballerina, one of my favourite moments


comes from the lakeside act you've just seen.


In much of the ballet, you have to focus on your technique,


but I'm going to show you a lyrical moment from Odette's duet with the Prince,


played here by my dance partner Roberto Bolle


and watched over by my coach, Donald Macleary.


This is a very romantic part in the actual pas de deux


where he is, I think you're falling in love now,


but you're always thinking of Rothbart, that will always be there.


It gives lots of lovely memories of what you are as a swan,


because she always is thinking about flying away


and he's catching you, which is great.


It's a lovely part. It is.


So we've done the promenade.


What you always like to show is some distance before you take


the arm down. You don't go straight to the wrist.


So it carries, from the audience point of view.


And there should be some resistance. The same with this side.


Then she's given in, then she thinks, help, no.


A movie would be different,


The Kirov Ballet, under conductor Valery Gergiev from the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, present a complete performance of Swan Lake, their most enduringly popular classical ballet and much loved for its lush romantic score and heartbreaking love story. Prima ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina is outstanding in the challenging dual role of Odette, the white swan and Odile, her black swan rival. Presented by Darcey Bussell.

Part of the BBC Christmas 2009 season.

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