Arts Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet's Swan Lake
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Delia Matthews as Odette. Photo credit: Andrew RossActs II and IV capture a corps de ballet that time after time takes the spectator’s breath away. The hovering divinity of 16 swans (not a little toe out of line) behind the early morning mist rising from the lake never fails to disrupt a silence in the audience. They are both darkness and light; initially appearing a group of vulnerable fledglings, only to flock to their Swan Queen’s defence as Rothbart seeks to slay her. Act III is without a doubt my undisputed favourite; the darkness, the glamour, the gothic opulence, injecting poison into a ballet that for the most part appears a heavenly vision. It is here that Swan Queen Odette is replaced by Rothbart’s wicked daughter Odile, and in defeating the other princesses with her fiery influence, wins Prince Siegfried’s heart. Taking the lead were Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton, a duo famed for their fearless brilliance. All the technical feats were in place, as the pair mastered the infamous 32 fouettes and challenging jumps whilst remaining sensitive to characterisation, making for an accomplished performance.
An evening in which heartbreak stood in its most beautiful form, fans of this timeless romance should note that the opening classic of the spring season is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After all, what is love without tragedy?Birmingham Royal Ballet continue to tour nationally with Swan Lake until January 2016. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the website: https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/swan-lake.