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28 October 2014

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Berkshire Stringers

Swan Lake

Review: Swan Lake

By 'stringer' Mandy Stevens
As part of BBC Radio Berkshire's Stringers project, we invite our stringers to review theatre productions. Here, Mandy Stevens reviews Swan Lake at the Hexagon on Tuesday 6 February 2007.

It had been some time since I had last been to the ballet and so it was with a degree of excitement that I took my seat in the balcony at the Hexagon eagerly awaiting transportation to the fantasy world of Swan Lake performed by The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.

As I waited in anticipation I cast my mind back to the first time I'd seen a ballet in Covent Garden I think it was many years ago I felt like I had stumbled on a closely guarded secret and I was hooked.

Swan Lake

I am bought back to tonight as the band tune their instruments, they are straining at the bit waiting to be released into their part of the fabulous Tchaikovsky mind. I'm not a great classical fan but in the right setting and atmosphere it is tantalising and breathtaking.

As the curtains open and the extravaganza unfolded I feel like I am a witness to a love story. It's  not only between Prince Siegfried and the beautiful graceful Odette but also between the dancers and the music.

There are the personal intimate moments as the music courted the dancer and the dancer responded to the touch as only a lover would and then as the score lifted it was like friends playing a game.

Mandy Stevens
Mandy Stevens reviews Swan Lake

I'm not a great fan of the Corps de ballet and in places it appeared, to me  to be a bit ragged but Act 1 scene 2 'A lake in the forest' it was faultlessly breathtaking.

I had difficulty maintaining a grip on reality that these were dancers and not swans. I have never seen arms so graceful and slender as those possessed by Odette aka principle ballerina Irina Kolesnikova.

When Odette danced the others simply became the backdrop. As Odile the evil Rothbart's daughter she was tantalising and captivating no wonder the prince fell for her yet in the background you cannot escape the beautiful Odette's distress at Siegfried's betrayal.

The dawning of the evil Rothbart's plan sends Prince Siegfried heading for Odett's lake where the dramatic climax between the Prince and Rothbart takes place and as the lover's embrace the curtain closes I knew this was the end of the story but tonight I want more.

The evening is over in a flash.

What had passed before my eyes was a fiesta of colour and intrigue, emotions tugged by witnessing love, betrayal, forgiveness and the defeating of evil.

last updated: 13/02/07
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