Review: Swan Lake – Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mayflower Theatre, February 2

Review: Swan Lake – Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mayflower Theatre, February 2

by Tessa Hurst.

Swan Lake has and always will be my favourite ballet, from going to see it as a child, dreaming of one day being a ballerina up on the stage, right up to now with some of the more modern interpretations. Swan Lake is a tragedy told by the music of Tchaikovsky – in this production it is skilfully played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. It draws you in and allows the beauty of the dancing to entice you to watch.

The revival of Sir Peter Wright and Galina Samsova’s Swan Lake by the Birmingham Royal Ballet is timeless, the choreography creative. Celine Gittens dances as Odette and Odile, and Brandon Lawrence as Prince Siegfried. Their duets appear effortless and captivating, bringing the emotions of love, temptation, betrayal and loss, with both power and tenderness.

The corps de ballets, dance so beautifully, the gentle movements and positions capturing the elegance and grace of the swans. Each of the scenes brings more dancing that just makes you smile.

The sets were subtle and all that was needed, the lightening helped to set the scene but it was the costumes that really helped to tell the story, a sea of brocade, velvet and lace showed the opulence of the royal palace in contrast to the simplicity of the white swans, in their tutus, that stood out against the more sinister background.

As the curtain rose on the final act a blanket of mist rolled out from the stage and there were audible gasps from the audience as the swans emerged from beneath it. As the music builds to its finale, it raised hairs on the back of my neck, I know how the story ends and the Birmingham Royal Ballet did not disappoint as they bought to a close a stunning and impressive performance.

  • Swan Lake is at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until February 4. For tickets and more information, click here.
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