Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Good Old Fashioned Swan Lake without Gimmicks

Standard YouTube Licence

Swan Lake is special to me and it has become even more special since I tried to learn the cygnets' dance, Siegfried's solo and the swans' entry at KNT's Swan Lake intensive last year (see KNT's Beginners' Adult Ballet Intensive - Swan Lake: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3). The last "Swan Lake" I saw had bikes, a whole load of new characters with names like Anthony and Odilia and a completely different story set somewhere where they vote for Bernie Sanders. I didn't like it the first time I saw it in 2004 even though it had a stellar cast (see  Don't Expect Petipa 5 Jan 2016) and I didn't like it any better when I saw it again in March (see Up the Swannee 17 March 2016).

So my tongue is hanging out for a real Swan Lake with a Siegfried, Odette-Odile and Rothbart with all the usual divertissements plus Legnani's 32 fouettés but minus the bikes and other gimmicks. And I am glad to see that English National Ballet have offered us  exactly that with Yonah Acosta as Siegfried, Erina Takahashi as Odette-Odile and Fabian Raimair as Rothbart. That would be more than enough to justify the somewhat steep - nay mountainous - ticket price and the return rail fare to London but my cup would run over were I to see Sarah Kundi and Natasha Watson on stage too.

Audiences in England already know Kundi well and my readers have read how much I admire her work but they may not have seen Watson before.   They should for she is a name to look out for. She is a graduate of Ballet West and I have mentioned her in this blog more than once (see Yet More Good News from Ballet West - Natasha Watson's Medal in the Genée 30 Sept 2013, Natasha Watson in Lausanne 15 Nov 2014, and A Cause for Double Celebration at the Robin's Nest 9 Feb 2016). You will find her picture here.

Watson is interviewed together with other young artists in yesterday's post to the English National Ballet's blog "It’s hard work being a swan!" 30 May 2016 ENB blog. You can say that again folks.  I KNOW. I'VE TRIED TO DO IT."

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