Revered as the epitome of classical ballets, Swan Lake is a gripping tale of love, betrayal, and the triumph of good over evil. It is the haunting story of Odette, a young maiden bewitched by the evil sorcerer von Rothbart under whose spell young maidens are condemned to be swans by day and human only at night. Odette is the Swan Queen. She is the most beautiful and wears a magnificent, bejeweled crown. In order to break the spell, a young man must swear undying love to the Swan Queen.
If he is unfaithful, she and the swan maidens will be trapped forever. The Moscow Imperial Theater first performed Swan Lake in Moscow in 1877. Legendary composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the score. After several revisions, the ballet attained critical success in 1894/95 when choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov produced it for the St. Petersburg Ballet.