English National Ballet Swan Lake Review

Bristol Hippodrome – until 1st December 2018

Reviewed  by Nicky Wyatt


The curtain goes up to lead you straight into a forest with a lake. The set of this ballet is just stunning, it felt as if you could actually walk through forest just beautiful. In the forest we are greeted by the Princess Odette (Erina Takahashi) dancing, unbeknown to her she is being watched from the forest edge by Rothbart( Junor Souza). Robert is half man half bird a wicked sorcerer who soon kidnaps the Princess and turns her into a swan. She now is trapped under his spell . What a fabulous opening scene.

As the story unfolds the stage is full of the most amazing dancers who tell this ballet story so beautifully. In the palace it’s all hands on deck for the birthday celebrations of Prince Siegfried (Francesco Gabriele Frola) . A huge party is planned for him and during the party his mother the Queen tells him he is required to choose a wife. She gives him the gift of a crossbow as a gift and
leaves him to it. He goes off to the lake armed with his crossbow planning to get some shooting practice in. Arriving at the lake he is greeted by a flock of beautiful swans flying overhead and sets out to hunt them. Of course he is not alone at the lake, the evil Rothbart is watching him. Eventually the Prince spies Odette Swan Queen as she dances he is entranced. Before long the sorcerer reappears and both Odette and the Prince flee he is desperate to find her. In a bid to confuse him Rothbart summons all the other girls he has captured and turned into swans to come to the lake. The lake is an amass of the most beautiful swans. Eventually the Prince returns to the lake and finds Odette amongst the swan maidens here he declares his live for her and promises himself to her
forever. Of course that dastardly sorcerer is nearby, he swoops in and steals her away leaving the Prince alone and heartbroken.

Back at the palace the birthday celebrations are in full swing. Amongst the guests are 6 ladies to be presented to the Prince. None of them will do as his heart belongs to Odette and he has promised to marry her. With a fanfare sorcerer Rothbart arrives with his daughter Odili ( (Erina Takahashi) she is however in disguise as Odette! The price believing it is hearts desire he sees in front of him falls for it. Not seeing the real Odette hiding in the wings. She witnesses this display and Rothbart takes delight in telling the Prince of his mistake.

Prince Siegfried finds her at the lake and begs her forgiveness, she concedes. Only for Rothbart to appear he fights with the Prince. A heartbroken Odette throws herself in the lake followed by the heartbroken Prince where they are united in everlasting love.

The fabulous orchestra that lead this production are just that totally fabulous I feel I need to single out the Harpist I’m afraid I couldn’t find her name but her playing was melodic . A totally mesmerising ballet that deserved every moment of its applause.