Monday, 6 October 2008

HOT: Swan Lake, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden WC2

I was looking forward to my first production of Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House, but given that I'd been travelling on the weekend, I had feared that I'd have trouble staying awake on a Monday night. I needn't have worried - it was probably the most impressive production of Tschaikovsky's classic ballet that I'd ever seen. The set and costumes in Act I and III were full of sumptious tawny colours, gilded like a Faberge egg. The lake scenes had a misty, ethereal quality, and full of fluttering swans it evoked the mystery of the lake. Carlos Acosta's footwork was tight, neat and light but I was most impressed by Marianela Nunez (who was replacing an injured Tamara Rojo). Her interpretation of the two swans was the best I've seen. She danced Odette with grace and lithe elegance and the moment she turned into a swan, while clinging desperately to her lover, was incredibly chilling. In contrast, her Odile was pointed, malicious and disdainful. The performance I attended was sold out, but try to get a ticket (or for the 2009 season) for this stunning production.

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