Theatre Shorts | Ken Longworth

Moscow Ballet’s classic turn

THE popularity of the ballet Swan Lake is shown by the fact that the Moscow Ballet La Classique production at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on Friday, March 24, follows stagings there by the Imperial Russian Ballet Co in 2015 and the Russian National Ballet Theatre in 2016.

But as La Classique artistic director Erik Melikov notes, each company stages its own adaptation of the story about a princess who has been turned into a swan by a wicked enchanter and can only regain her human form by night.

A prince sees her one night and falls in love with her.

The ballet originally ran in 1877 for almost four hours, including three intervals, but choreographers have invariably shortened the work, though they generally follow the choreography developed for a 1795 production. 

Melikov says the La Classique team have put together their own choreography, and it has delighted audiences in Russia and other countries.

The La Classique production has two halves, each 50 minutes, with 40 dancers in colourful scenes set in places including a lake and a palace ballroom.

And the musical score by Tchaikovsky is one of the most acclaimed in ballet.

His other dance scores included those for The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, which La Classique presented at the Civic Theatre in 2013 and 2015 respectively on Australian tours.

The March 24 Civic Theatre performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are $56.10 to $86.70.

Bookings: 4929 1977.