Above: Victor Estevez and Lina Kim. Below: The Swans. Photos: David Kelly
Queensland Ballet’s Swan Lake 2017
Choreographer: Ben Stevenson
Music performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Nigel Gaynor
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Season: May 5-13, Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or phone 136 246. Duration: Two hours 10 minutes including interval.
The depth of talent in the Queensland Ballet was never more evident than in the performance of Swan Lake I saw on Saturday (May 6). It was simply a stunning night out.
The production is purely classical and Ben Stevenson’s choreography, after Petipa and Ivanov, was technically difficult and extremely physical but there was nothing the company couldn’t handle – even following a matinee performance.
This version has been scaled back a little and ran for just under two hours. For me it gained rather than lost from this editing.
The corps was always beautifully in step and shone particularly in the magical moonlit lake scene, which was breathtaking at times for the sheer beauty of the tutu-clad dancers.
And Kristian Fredrikson’s costuming along with Jason Hughes' lighting plot highlighted the sheer romanticism and drama of the ballet.
On the night Odette/Odile was danced by Lucy Green, who joined the company as a soloist at the beginning of the year and what a great acquisition she is. Lucy is a strong dancer with lovely lines and amazingly secure Pointe work. I loved every second of her performance. She was partnered by demi-soloist Alexander Idaszak, who danced Prince Siegfried. He matched her with strength, power, and agility. They performed together like they had been partners for years. It was a delight to watch them dance together.
With the Black swan pas de deux we saw the full scope and talent of the two principals. They were breathtaking.
The ballet opened with a short prologue when the young Princess Odette was captured by the evil Von Rothbart, danced all the way through with an evil menace by Ryan Thompson, and transformed through a magic spell into a swan.
The dance of the cygnets is always a focal point of Swan Lake and this performance was no different. Chiara Gonzalez, Tamara Hanton, Mia Heathcote and Sophie Zoricic just nailed this incredibly popular but difficult dance without a falter and won cheers and loud applause when they made their exit. It was a great part of the night.
The opening scene of celebration of the Prince’s coming of age was boisterous and gave us the chance to see the company dancers shine with some brilliant work, but the mood changed when Siegfried followed a flight of swans into the darkness of the and the swan reverted to human form and Odette told Siegfried of the curse that only true love would break.
Siegfried swears his love but Rothbart has other plans and brings in his own daughter Odile disguised as Odette to seduce Siegfried.
von Rothbart then reveals his plot to keep the swans under his spell and when Seigfried realises he has broken his vow and so condemned Odette and her fellow maidens to remain swans for eternity he flees to the lake to beg forgiveness from Odette.
The choreography in this scene was sweeping and superb as the dancers matched the power of the music to bring the ballet to a highly dramatic and heart pounding conclusion of death and redemption. The pair certainmly had the "wow" factor.
This was a memorable production of Swan Lake.