The Regent Theatre was tonight treated to one of the most popular ballet performances this humble little planet will ever know of. The ballet is numerously referenced in all sorts of popular entertainment such as Billy Elliot and Black Swan. Swan Lake is brought to Stoke On Trent by the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre; they stand firm as one of the leading ballet companies in the world. The formidable reputation of the Russian professionals is enough to get everybody excited for their take on Swan Lake. Will their reputation stand firm with their version of the tremendous elegance of Swan Lake?
Composed in 1877 by the great Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake was originally a critical disaster before it was successfully revived in 1895 by Marius Petipa. This version of Swan Lake is an enchanting story about a swan-princess called Odette that falls in love with Prince Siegfried and escapes the evil spell of Rothbart that then follows a path of love, heart break and deception. There are four scenes split into three acts in this version, with brief interludes in between them.
The soloists were absolutely captivating all three of the acts, the pairing of Margarita Avdeeva (Odette/Odile) and Radion Isyanov (Prince Siegfried) jelled together with heartfelt chemistry. Seiyu Ogasawara, who plays the jester, was in my eyes the most watchable dancer who overshadowed the protagonists and antagonists. The first and second act were great aside from a few bits of fidgeting from a couple of the background dancers that became slightly distracting. The first act was a steady introduction to both the human and swan parts of the story and the second act picked up the pace with the story. Act III was by far the most powerful and elegant piece throughout the whole act. I forgot I was holding a succulent cup of J20 orange and passion fruit I was so engrossed in that act. It’s safe to say, I did eventually drink that beverage like an absolute champion.
The decoration of the stage was compelling and brought life into all of the scenes to cushion the performance into an eye catching visual display. There with the smoke machine adding to the gothic atmosphere of the stage set up. The costumes were stunning for both the swans and the scenes with the royalty that were put in place perfectly. The Dance of the Little Swans proves my point with it’s glowing presence. The orchestra was sensational and made this performance captivating along with the timing of the choreography and the suspense of the story.
The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre brought the house down with their performance tonight and pay a superb tribute to the infamous ballet. The performance was such a rhythmic masterpiece as the soloists showcased their precision and talents along with the world class composition. Everything from the powerful string section to the sounds of the footsteps brought music to the ears of a near full house tonight (move over, John Cage). The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre are once again triumphant as Swan Lake has fulfilled me with its beautiful take love and deception.
You may have missed it this time, but when this company returns we’ll be the first to let you know.