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November 2004
Swan Lake @ The Hippodrome
Reviewed by site user, David Hassell
Swan Lake
Swan Lake

Swan Lake runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 27 November 2004.

Site user David Hassell went to see the ballet.


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Swan Lake runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 27 November 2004.

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When it first appeared on the London stage, Matthew Bournes' Swan Lake won universal critical acclaim. Ten years on it still looks fresh and innovative.

Anyone trying to illustrate that ballet is a combination of grace and strength would go a long way to find a better example. At least here we see a true representation of swans - strong, elegant creatures with a hidden power.

Bourne said that he wanted to introduce ballet and music to a new audience and judging by the audience tonight, he has succeeded. A complete cross section were in attendance from 8 - 80 male and female. It was particularly noticeable how many teenage boys and young men were there.

First class performances

The performance was universally first class with the only real criticism being that some of the younger dancers lacked a little in physical definition.

Scott Ambler as the Prince clearly demonstrated downward path into despair and near madness, Nicola Tranah portraying a Queen who had no ability to show love to her son and Jose Tirado as the Swan/Stranger producing two characters of opposing and yet common feelings.

In addition to these performances the corps were fine in every respect, highlights included the dance of the cygnets where 4 younger dancers humorously captured the ungainliness of young swans.

Nightclub scene

Before that we had a nightclub scene that made even Tchaikovsky's music almost sounded modern. Judging from the applause and screams at the final curtain everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening.

If you can get a ticket grab it, it will change your view of ballet and certainly kill any misconceptions you may have of male dance. Footballers look positively lilly livered in comparison.

Written by David Hassell

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