The Royal Ballet: Swan Lake
Anthony Dowell's opulent production of the greatest of all romantic ballets returns to the Royal Opera House.
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Anthony Dowell's opulent production of the greatest of all romantic ballets returns to the Royal Opera House. Tchaikovsky's first ballet score was slow to capture the public imagination. But today this magical tale of a beautiful woman transformed into a swan ranks as one of the world's most popular ballets. It has crossed over into popular culture and been radically reinterpreted many times. From the earliest days of the Vic-Wells Ballet, it has also been one of The Royal Ballet's signature works. For his 1987 production, Anthony Dowell went back to the choreography originally created by the great Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov for the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895. Yolanda Sonnabend's inspired designs draw on the Russian Imperial Court of the period, blending historical accuracy and gothic fantasy. The magical setting is further evoked by the Carl Faberge-inspired glamour of the court scenes in Acts I and III, and the misty, moonlit beauty of the lakeside 'white' acts.