Swan Lake, surely the greatest of all Romantic ballets, is the captivating story of a beautiful woman transformed into a swan, and a heart-rending tribute to the power of love. Swan Lake is a perfect synthesis of choreography and music and, though Tchaikovsky did not live to see it become a success, his first ballet score is now synonymous with ballet itself, inspiring generations of dancers and crossing over into popular culture.
From the earliest days of the Vic-Wells Ballet, Swan Lake has been one of The Royal Ballet's signature works. In creating this production, Anthony Dowell aimed to return to an authentic version of the choreography created by the great Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov for the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895. Yolanda Sonnabend's designs draw on the Russian Imperial Court of that period with an inspired blend of historical accuracy and gothic fantasy. The court scenes of Acts I and III have a dark glamour rooted in the opulent style of Carl Faberg, while the famous lakeside 'white' acts are rich with mist, shadow and moonlight.