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Preview: Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall

Published 26 May 2010

I used to have a jewellery box which played the theme to Swan Lake as a child, with a little revolving plastic ballerina in a tutu. Little did I know this tune was taken from the ballet Swan Lake, nor the scale of this magnificently breathtaking ballet. The good news is Swan Lake is coming to town this June, and if going to a ballet hasn’t been your thing up until now, prepare to be wowed, enthralled and moved all in one sitting!

This June the Royal Albert Hall is opening its doors to Derek Deane’s spectacular Swan Lake in-the-round, performed by the National Ballet and starring Polina Semionova and Vadim Muntagirov – an event for any culture vulture’s diary this summer!

Derek Deane‘s Swan Lake is an awe-inspiring choreographic masterpiece, and with over 120 English National Ballet dancers on stage, including acrobats, jugglers and 60 swans (played by ballerinas of course!), it’s the largest of its kind in the world. Prepare to be spellbound as the swans glide in unison across the Royal Albert Hall arena, which will be transformed into a magical lake for this ballet.

This production has delighted over 450,000 people since its premiere in May 1997, and it will be the sixth season this ballet has been performed in-the-round, in response to wide praise from both audiences and critics alike. It was also performed for the Diana Princess of Wales concert in 2007, who was the English National Ballet’s Patron from 1989.

Wayne Eagling, English National Ballet‘s Artistic Director, said:
“Swan Lake in the round is a fundamental part of English National Ballet’s repertoire. Performing a ballet on this scale is a huge challenge and a very rewarding one. The fact that we are bringing this production back to the Royal Albert Hall for the sixth time is a testament to the public’s interest in a ballet produced in an unusual way and of the Company’s innovative handling of this classic work.“

As well as the vast number of dancers, the English National Ballet’s orchestra of over 80 musicians play Tchaikovsky’s sweeping and memorable musical score, which depicts the powerful story of true love’s triumph over evil.

Prince Siegfried’s fight for the love of the Odette, queen of the swans, is brought to life by stunning costume designs, sensational lighting by Howard Harrison and set design by Peter Farmer, which will enthral you in this spectacular production.

The leading role of Odette/Odile will be danced by the beautiful Prima ballerina Polina Semionova, who will make her guest performance on both the opening night as well as two other performances, and the English National Ballet’s hot young talent Vadim Muntagirov will join her as Prince Siegfried.

After first performing with the English National Ballet in Swan Lake in-the-round in 2003 at the age of 19, Polina has gone on to become one of the world’s most celebrated ballerinas, having danced with partners including Roberto Bolle and Igor Zelensky. Vadim Muntagirov joined English National Ballet from the Royal Ballet School in 2009 and is already a rising star tipped for great things.

The lead roles in the other performances of Swan Lake this June will be performed by the English National Ballet’s principal pairings; Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov, Erina Takahashi and Dmitri Gruzdyev, Elena Glurdjidze and Arionel Vargas, and Begoña Cao and Esteban Berlanga.

Performed in the 60th birthday year of the English National Ballet, this production of Swan Lake represents many of the Company’s values: making classical ballet of the highest quality accessible to the widest possible audience, at an affordable price.

Swan Lake is sure to melt the heart of everyone who sees it, have you reaching for your tissues, and inspire countless children to take up ballet. You’ll be humming that theme song to yourself again and again!

Venue address: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP (location map)
Box office telephone: 020 7838 3100
RAH Online ticket booking website: tickets.royalalberthall.com
Ticket prices: £19.50 – £55

Dates & Times of Performances:
9 – 18 June 7.30pm
12, 13, 19 June 2.30pm
16 June 2pm (Schools Matinee)

The Swan Lake story: www.ballet.org.uk/repertoire/swan-lake-story.html