The ballet Swan Lake is one of the best-loved ballets in the world and is performed by hundreds of companies every year. This article explains the general plot and reveals some upcoming performances of the ballet in 2012 by major companies.
Swan Lake Overview
Swan Lake begins at a royal court, where Prince Siegfried must declare that he has chosen a wife at his birthday ball. Siegfried is not drawn to any of the young ladies at the ball and, wishing he could marry for love, runs off into the forest with his new crossbow to hunt swans.
Siegfried has found a group of swans and aims his crossbow at them. A swan appears before him, but he puts away his bow because the swan has transformed into a beautiful woman dressed in white feathers. The swan begins to flee but he convinces her to stay and they dance together. Siegfried learns that she is the princess Odette, cursed by the evil sorcerer von Rothbart so that she is a swan by day and a woman by night. She is accompanied by a group of other swan-maidens. Siegfried falls in love with Odette at once, enchanted by her beauty and sadness. He begins to swear his love for her, which would counter the sorcerer’s spell; however, von Rothbart appears and stops him. Rothbart and Siegfried fight and Siegfried threatens to kill the sorcerer, but Odette intercedes, because if von Rothbart is killed before the spell is broken it becomes permanent.
Prince Siegfried returns to the castle to attend the ball and Von Rothbart follows him in disguise, accompanied by his own evil daughter Odile whom he has bewitched to look like Odette. Odile is dressed in black and represents the seductive, alluring side of Odette. The prince dances with her, believing her to be Odette, and proclaims his love for her to his family. Von Rothbart rejoices in his triumphant scheme, and the prince realizes his mistake in horror.
Siegfried hurries to the lake and apologizes profusely to Odette. She forgives him, but Von Rothbart appears and tries to separate the two lovers.
There are many versions of the ending of this ballet. In some, the prince triumphs over Von Rothbart, but in many, the two lovers throw themselves into the lake and drown in order to defy the sorcerer.
Swan Lake: Upcoming Performances in 2012
There will be many fantastic opportunities to see Swan Lake in 2012, so prepare to see the ballet and be blown away!
Some companies performing the ballet are:
- Corella Ballet: April 27-29
- American Ballet Theatre: June 25-30
- Kirov Ballet: April 26, March 2, March 9
- Bolshoi Ballet: June 7-10
- Dutch National Ballet: March 8-25
These are some of the best and most famous companies in the world. If you can’t make it to one of these performances, don’t worry— there are thousands of other, smaller companies that will produce Swan Lake in 2012!