Swan Lake

Belgrade Theatre Coventry


Going to the ballet is a treat, no mistake, and going to the ballet in Coventry with a full orchestra tightly packed into the pit – though the kitchen sink department had to be installed on the wings – is a double treat.

Even better is when the ballet is Swan Lake beautifully performed by first class dancers and musicians. This performance became better and better, and more elegant and thrilling as time passed. It started rather slowly as the story seemed to stall but it was well worth persevering. It was truly rewarding, a feast for the senses.

The story is well known. Baron von Rothbart (Anton Piastekhin or Maxim Melnikov), an evil magician, is regent for Prince Siegfried (Artem Pugachev or Danil Sokolov) nudging 18 and being ‘encouraged’ by his mother to choose a bride from among the beautiful girls invited to this party.

The Baron has turned Princess Odette (Anastasia Turchina, Anna Pigalkina or Marina Nomyrova) and her maidens into swans with the proviso that if ever a man loves her she will be free to become human again. The Prince meets her at the lake and commits almost instantly.


But Odile (Maria Stec or Anatasia Turchina) is a dead ringer for Odette and daughter to the Baron. She takes Odette’s place who is then condemned to remain a swan.

Tchaikovsky’s music is well known and absolutely gorgeous and it was truly amazing to hear a real orchestra performing alongside the dancing.

Choreographed by Konstantin Uralsky the staging was sumptuous and as the story becomes darker and starker towards the end, so does the lighting and mood. The final scenes were truly stunning and magical on the lake as Odette realises her fate. The moon on the water often gave the only, lonely light which developed an amazing and subtle backdrop for the gorgeous synchronised and elegant dancing from the whole troupe of ballerinas.

The Russian State Ballet and Opera House Company are presenting the ‘lollipops’ of the ballet repertoire, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet, to great effect in a UK tour that is well worth catching. This is brilliant family entertainment, showing the true beauty of the high arts in smaller venues. To 25-10-17.

Jane Howard


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