Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Royal Ballet Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (The Royal Ballet)

It's unheard of for me to recommend a recording of a ballet performance but, as unlikely as it seems, there is very good reason to commend this one to you.

When the curtains go up, you are right there, in among the dancing, just hovering slightly above the centre stage. The scenery looks delicious on-screen, all blood red, black and gold with just the right amount of sparkle to catch your eye, contrasting diamond bright in the White Acts.

The excellent camerawork ensures that you don’t miss an entrance or any of the action - the detail of movement, of interaction between characters, the close-up shots, the action all around the stage. If you habitually sit in the Gods then this is the tape for you !

Who would want to miss the perfect partnering of Laura Morera and Ricardo Cervera's effervescent Neapolitan dance, and the precision and timing of Stephen McRae's thrilling leaps with Laura Morera and Yuhui Choe in the Pas de Trois ?

Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares dazzle & dance the Principal roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried respectively. Nunez' flashing eyes watch Soares closely and her smile, when it comes, lights up the National Grid.

And that's not all - how about the Polonaise and the Waltz, or Bennet Gartside and Kristen McNally's Czárdás ? Helen Crawford and Francesca Filpi are regal as the Two Swans, and Bethany Keating, Iohna Loots, Emma Maguire and Romany Pajdak are beguiling Cygnets.

Even if you don't see them dance regularly, many of the cast will be familiar to you here from my recent interviews and I hope you can now enjoy watching them dance.

There are extras with the DVD :

Illustrated synopsis.
Cast gallery.
Interview with Anthony Dowell.
Four Swan Queens - Exclusive 30-minute conversation on the demands of dancing the role of the Swan Queen with former Prima Ballerinas Dame Beryl Grey, Dame Monica Mason, Lesley Collier and current principal Marianela Nuñez.

And the technical details :

FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
LENGTH: 179 Mins
SOUND: HALF DTS 2.0 / 5.1
SUBTITLES: FR/DE/ES/IT (extra features only)
RELEASED: 01/09/2009

The DVD is available from other retailers; however Opus Arte are the label and my copy came from them.


  1. This is my favourite ballet!!! I saw it when I was a little girl and it made me fall in love with ballet in general... I also love Tchaikovsky, he is one of my favourite composers.
    It would be curious to see this version since my favourite ones have always been "made in Russia" :) I saw Swan Lake in Bolshoi, Mariinsky and my home town and then here, when Russian ballet visited England.

    Thanks for this post!


  2. Elise, thanks so much I will look for this. Sandi

  3. Thank you for making my day with your great comment.

    Loving your blog and I popped by at the perfect time. My daughter's love ballet but princess is yet to see a live performance. Perhaps this will give her a taste. Thank you!!! I know nothing about ballet so this is perfect. Now I just need a fun instructional video to hold the little one over while Big Sis is in school. Hugs, Jen

  4. this is the ballet I know and I learn something everyday from your blog .I so enjoy it . great blog .

  5. Hi Elise,

    I made your free blog button but I generally don't like to add the codes to the comments area, but prefer to add give it through email that you feel safe with, or if you have Facebook I can message you through there privately. If it's too big or not what you prefer than just let me know what's on your mind and I'll try to adjust it to fit your ideas.

  6. Little Rus - I will be interested to know what you make of it - like you, sometimes I prefer the Russian versions, especially The Sleeping Beauty.

    CelticWoman - hope you find it and enjoy it

    Tu Tu's Bliss - there is nothing like a live performance which is why I'm so reluctant to recommend a recording; but this is an excellent one and so I make an exception - and, not everyone can get to the ballet !

    phonelady - you can't go wrong with Swan Lake and this i a good version of it. Do let me know if you enjoy it !

    God's - thank you; I will make contact in due course

  7. Thank you so much for the kind comment on Simply Grove!!! Have a great day!! xx

  8. Oh, I love this ballet. It is my favorite!

  9. I'm so glad you recommended this - I have been wanting to get my little crumb a DVD of a talented ballet performance, and I just didn't know where to begin. At her young age of 19 months, it is easier to let her watch this than try and manage her while watching a live-performance!

  10. Thank you for the recommendation. I will be glued to the set--when my human Tommy was 4 yrs old her mom took her to her first dance recital. And a piece was perform from Swan Lake--the dancer donned in white with a red heart on her side. She wore white pointe shoes. Tommy fell in love with ballet then.

  11. Ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted to see this live. Hopefully, one day, not far, I'll get the chance.

  12. SimplyGrove - welcome and thankyou !

    Caroline Alexander - you are not alone ! thank you for your comment and welcome

    Simply Mel - I agreed - and I'm sure your "little crumb" will be entranced ! The music alone is worth listening to

    Noir in Texas - good to hear !

    miss kay - I really hope that you do get to see it live - there is nothing else like it. Do keep me posted !

  13. i love Tchaikovsky, his music is beautiful :)

  14. How wonderful to meet you over at my blog. I love the chance it has given me to come here and explore and learn. Thank you so much for your visits and your comments. Take care. Happy weekend.

  15. Manju - thank you - I know what you mean !

    Relyn - thank you and welcome !


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