5 May 2023, 20:00 - Swan Lake - uVisitRussia
2023 | Friday
Classical ballet
State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre, Saint Petersburg
Duration: 2 h 50 min
World premiere: Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia, 2 June 2015

The Saint-Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre is proud to present a new performance at the Alexandrinsky Theatre: a reworked version of the classical Swan Lake ballet, with choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Especially for the Yacobson Theatre, the brilliant designer Vyacheslav Okunev has contributed colourful new scenery and fashioned an intricate set.

People's Artist of the Russian Federation, winner of the Golden Mask and Golden Soffit Theatre Awards, and alumnus of the N.K. Cherkasov State Theatre Arts Academy in Leningrad, Vyacheslav Okunev has designed sets for over 300 theatrical performances in Russia and abroad.

Swan Lake is one of the most enchanting, impeccable, and renowned creations of world art. For a long time, its music choreography has been universally regarded as a world-class ballet masterpiece, and as one of the greatest achievements of Russian national culture.

The history of Swan Lake began in 1875, when Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a young but already famous composer, set out to write a music score commissioned by the Bolshoi Theatre. Tchaikovsky did not give himself a goal of starting a revolution in ballet. He meticulously studied the ballet scores, striving to saturate the basic outlines with a profound new meaning from within. The choreographers — Marius Petipa, who gave the white swan queen Odette a dark double, Odile, and his assistant Lev Ivanov, who staged the famous 'swan scenes' — were the first to sense the innovative character of Tchaikovsky’s ballet music, and its ability to portray the protagonists’ personalities through interaction and character development. This production introduced a new form of the ballet theatre – the so-called symphonic ballet.

Swan Lake is always in demand. And this is precisely why, now that this ballet, one of the most famous works in the Leonid Yacobson Theatre's classical repertoire, has received the exquisite new set by the distinguished and talented Vyacheslav Okunev, the familiar performance will shine in a completely new light, and the audience will get a fresh perspective on the academic ballet that is so well-loved by audiences all across the world.

Scene one
The terrace of castle is filled with joy and merriment - Prince Siegfried is celebrating his coming of age, his courtiers congratulate him while his mischievous jester entertains the assembles guests. The servants announce the arrival of his mother the queen, she presents her son with a crossbow for the hunt. The queen reminds her son that at tomorrow coming of age ball he will have to choose a bride. Night is fast approaching and the guests take leave, Siegfried is finally alone with his thoughts and premonitions of what the future may bring. In the twilight a flock of swans pass over and he rushes to the lake.

Scene two
At the lake in the heart of the forest, the swans having stepped ashore turn into beautiful young girls Siegfried about to draw his crossbow stops fascinated by their beauty. Odette the swan princess is startled by Siegfrieds presence, he assures her no harm will come to her. Odette tells him of her terrible plight. Tells him of her high birth and how she has fallen under the spell of be a swan and only in the hours of darkness to assume her human form. She tells him she is bound for eternity by the spell unless an unblemished youth swears eternal fidelity and marries her. Siegfried realizes his destiny has changed. Day is breaking, the swans are again swimming on the lake, Odette bids a sad farewell, Siegfried is left desolate.

Scene three
The coming of age ball commences at the castle. The young noblewoman whom the Queen has chosen as prospective brides are presented to Prince Siegfried, he shows no interest thinking only of Odette. The entertainment and merrymaking continue until a fanfare announces the arrival of more guests. Rothbart disguised as a knight sweeps in with his daughter Odille, Siegfried is dazzled by her beauty and her resemblance to Odette, swears his love and fidelity... Rothbart the sorcerer triumphs in his deception.
Siegfried horrified at what he has done rushes from the ball and into the night.

Scene four
At the lakeside Odette tells her fellow swans of Rothbarts devilish trickery. Siegfried fleeing from the ball arrives at the shore begging Odette’s forgiveness and telling of his undying love for her. Rothbart appears and he and his black swans battle with Siegfried and the forces of good until the light of the dawn breaks and the forces of evil are vanquished. The rising sun gives birth to new life, happiness and love.

A ballet in three acts
Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Vladimir Begichev and Vasily Geltser
Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Set and costume design by Vyacheslav Okunev, People's Artist of the Russian Federation
Lighting design by Evgeny Ganzburg, Honoured Cultural Worker of the Russian Federation

Running time 2 hours 50 minutes
Presented with two intervals

Casts & Credits

Choreography: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Konstantin Sergeyev
Choreography: Lev Ivanov
Artistic Director: Yury Petukhov
Libretto: Vasily Geltzer
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Konstantin Sergeyev
Choreography: Lev Ivanov
Artistic Director: Yury Petukhov
Libretto: Vasily Geltzer