Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall
Perhaps one of the most famous ballets of all time, Swan Lake in the round at the Royal Albert Hall is every bit as decadent, dramatic and visually stunning as you would expect from this renowned production.
Performed by the English National Ballet and scored by the National Ballet Orchestra, this show is exquisite. With no fewer than sixty swans filling the arena-like stage, it’s hard not to be swept away by the magic of this classic love story.
The first act drags a little, with the audience only really starting to engage when we first encounter the dramatic lake scene and meet Odette. However, from this point on each act becomes more captivating than the last.
What is exciting about this rendition of Swan Lake is the theatrics. The costumes, lighting and visual effects are all wonderfully dramatic. The Royal Albert Hall is the perfect setting for such exuberance. The huge venue could easily make the performance seem underwhelming, so all of this theatricality is needed. With acrobats, circus tricks, a floor full of smoke and an enormous stage filled with dancers, they certainly do not hold back. Nevertheless, there is a great sense of knowing when to stop. If there is ever a risk of it all getting too over the top, the drama is pulled back and the delicately refined dancing again becomes the focus.
Really it is the sheer enormity of the ensemble, more than anything else, which makes this performance truly captivating. The scale of the piece is simply astounding: huge ensemble dances are beautifully juxtaposed with the solos performed exquisitely by Siegfried and Odette/Odile. The in the round aspect also means that you get to see each dance performed from every possible angle.
Watching a sea of white swans flock the stage and perform in such perfect harmony is like nothing else. Their magnificence and grace will blow you away. The National Ballet has done a truly exquisite job at bringing this classic to life.
Swan Lake in the round is at the Royal Albert Hall until 23rd June 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.