Swan Lake: Some Amazing Things to Know About Moscow Ballet’s Spectacular Showpiece!

March 01, 2018  |  By Moscow Ballet

"Expressive and a delight to watch" Washington Post

Many audiences in North America associate Moscow Ballet with its spectacular, larger-than-life Great Russian Nutcracker, which tours across North America (and garnered a viral CNN story that went worldwide in 2017!). However, Moscow Ballet also performs a diverse repertoire of classic ballets. In 2018, audiences in select cities will be treated to the company’s quintessential Russian ballet, Swan Lake. It’s a stunning performance and a not-to-miss opportunity for North American audiences to witness the classic ballet including Moscow Ballet’s signature costumes, stunning sets, and world-class performers.  “Sheer splendor and elegant dancing,” Baltimore Sun

Moscow Ballet’s Swan Lake is noted for it’s renowned Russian dancers. Last year’s 25th Anniversary Tour featured principals such as Olena Pecheniuk and Oleksandr Skulkin. Pecheniuk was awarded Honored Artist of Ukraine in 2016 and Honored Artist of Culture in 2013 and is Laureate of several International Ballet Competitions. Oleksandr Skulkin. Skulkin was honored at the 7th International Ballet Competition of Serge Lifar in Donetsk and awarded Silver at the Beijing International Ballet Competition in China.

Learn more about these amazing performers from our 2017 tour:

The ballet features a moving sculpture garden where Russian passion governs in the statuesque bearing of the male dancers, and the exquisite lines of the women, all attacking each step with enviable Russian precision. Like all of its ballet presentations, Moscow Ballet’s sets and costumes are created with lavish colors and lush atmosphere that seems to come alive.

This year many cities on the tour will feature Musical Wunderkind, where, as a special pre-curtain performance, some of the country’s most talented youth musicians accompany a ballerina’s solo performance of Saint Saen’s “Dying Swan” from Carnival of the Animals, now commonly known as the influence for Odette’s movements in Swan Lake. Look for Wunderkind 2018 in your city.

The story:

Swan Lake is considered by many to be one of the greatest classical ballets of all time. Its romance and beauty mesmorized audiences for more than 100 years. The story starts when Prince Siegfried, while hunting, sees an amazing swan. As he takes aim to shoot, the swan turns into a beautiful woman. The woman, Odette, tells the prince that she is a princess who has come under the spell of an evil sorcerer. During the day she must be a swan and swim in a lake of tears and only at night is she allowed to be a human again. The spell can only be broken if a prince swears eternal fidelity to her. Prince Siegfried falls madly in love with Odette, however, through a spell cats by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, he accidentally proposes to another woman, Odile, at a castle ball believing the woman is Odette. Princess Odette threatens to kill herself and throws herself into the lake. The Prince throws himself into the lake with her and in an incredibly touching moment, the two are transformed into lovers in the afterlife. While the original version is more than four hours long, this staging has been artfully edited to just over two, and still runs the gamut of human emotion from elation to despair, purity to corruption, and melancholy to joy. Performances in Russia and Cuba often have happy endings in which the evil von Rothbart is vanquished and the loving couple head toward marital bliss.

See Moscow Ballet’s Swan Lake in select cities in 2018. Check www.moscowballet.com in late Spring for announcements about this special tour. In the meantime, head over to our website  to see Swan Lake’s special video clips and beautiful photo gallery, as well as favorite moments from the Great Russian Nutcracker.