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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

And so to the second of my ballet weekends.....or maybe not.

And so off to Sadler's Wells to see Mathew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Swan Lake is one of the three classic Tchaikovsky Ballets (along with Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty) I was aware that Bourne's production was different (the Swans that are typically female are here as cast as men) so I was intrigued to see how this worked.

Firstly it isn't a ballet! Bourne himself says that it is more correctly described as Contemporary Dance theatre. I would agree with that, it's a contemporary dance update keeping the plot and importantly the music. Is it successful? Partly, i'm not convinced by the updating and I found the humour off putting. Curiously the male swans work fairly well, I think they lack the elegance of female dancers but it work pretty well.

The production has drama and energy which is good and the ending is dramatic, but I wasn't wholly convinced by the dancing. The chap playing the Stranger/Swan was pretty good and outshone the chap playing the prince (no idea who was who as the programme never said) in my eyes.  The music is good (naturally) and I thought the setting, lighting was good.

I'm pleased I've seen it but I won't be rushing back to see it again. I am a traditionalist so I'm pleased I have tickets to see English National Ballet do Swan Lake in January 2015(!!). I will be interested to see an original production.

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