Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake to soar in India, with ballet production set for Delhi debut
The Royal Russian Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky's beloved Swan Lake in Delhi next month
In recent times, the name ‘Swan Lake’ brings first to mind not Tchaikovsky’s original ballet, but the psychological thriller Black Swan, for which Natalie Portman won an Oscar. The story of a princess, Odette, turned into a swan by a sorcerer’s curse, received a new interpretation under Darren Aronofsky’s direction.
Ever since the ballet has debuted, however, in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre (although it was not until two decades later, that the reworked choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov made it popular), viewers have related to several themes in the story: The eternal battle between good and evil, light and darkness, the presence of conflicting motives and needs within one’s personality, love vs duty, the appearance of good as opposed to what is actually good. The ballet also captures the full range of human emotions — from hope to despair, terror to tenderness, and melancholy to ecstasy. Perhaps it is these themes and emotions, in addition to the romance of the tale, that have made Swan Lake endure over nearly 140 years. It’s unfortunate that Tchaikovsky didn’t live to enjoy Swan Lake's colossal success in later years.
Come September, and audiences in India can experience for the first time, the magic of Swan Lake on stage at the Siri Fort Auditorium. Fusion/modern interpretations of the ballet have been performed elsewhere in India, but this recital – courtesy a collaboration between production house Navrasa Duende and the Russian Royal Ballet – brings Swan Lake in all its original glory to Delhi. Forty dancers from the Russian Royal Ballet will be part of an exquisitely produced stage show over 22-24 September.
The Royal Russian Ballet, founded in Ukraine in 2008, has staged some of the most iconic productions over the past few years, including Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote and Giselle.
Director Anatoliy Kazatskiy told Firstpost that the team was hopeful that the performance would be appreciated by Indian audiences, given our own rich cultural legacy of classical dance and music. “India has an ancient and rich tradition of dance and music. (So) we are optimistic that the Indian audience will appreciate the classical art form (of ballet),” he said.
Kazatskiy added that the production would stay true to its original form. “In essence, there is no change from the classical format,” he explained. So audiences in Delhi can expect unmatched choreography that has been performed over several generations, magnificent costumes, elaborate sets and a visual experience unlike any other. There is also Tchaikovsky's haunting and ageless score, poignantly attuned to the struggles of the heart. The moods extend from the exquisitely tender violin solo of the Swan Dance Andante to the thundering explosions of the finale. The foremost quality most often attributed to the Swan Lake score is its ‘symphonic’ nature, an innovation for the genre at the time it was written.
Swan Lake was Navrasa Duende’s first choice when it came to staging a world-class ballet in India. Navrasa Duende founder Dinesh B Singh told Firstpost, “Swan Lake was our first choice, because we wanted to introduce the Indian audience to the best of western classical music, dance, theatre and the ballet. It will be very refreshing to watch and is sure to appeal to our audiences across all age groups."
Tickets can be booked here.
Here's a short trailer of the performance:
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