I thought it would be useful to write a post about the story of Swan Lake just in time for the weekend reading. I am not afraid to say that Swan Lake is one of the most popular ballet of all times. Most people familiar with the story of the beautiful lady who turns into Swan by an evil curse. Not many people know that the ballet actually has two endings. The ‘happy’ ending and the ‘sad’ ending. I will tell you the story of ‘happy’ ending.
The legendary composer Tchaikovsky wrote the music for Swan Lake from 1875-1876. Most of the original work about the Swan Lake story has not survived so we can only assume that the story came from the Russian folktale.
The very first production of Swan Lake was performed on 4 March 1877. Unfortunately, the premie was not well received. Despite the criticism the ballet continued to be performed . A few years later Petipa decided to modify the choreography of Swan Lake and since then many other choreographers infused their own thoughts into the ballet. Slowly, Swan Lake became the world’s favourite ballet.
I won’t repeat myself in writing the Swan Lake synopsis in detail as it is already written on our website under the ‘Swan Lake performance’. I cannot help but mention the wonderful love story that Swan Lake has brought into our lives.
The Story in my words….
The ballet starts with Prince Siegfried’s birthday in his castle. As in most parties the guests are having a lovely time dancing. Siegfried’s mother reminds the Prince that there will be a ball tomorrow where he must choose the bride for himself. Of course, the young Prince is not happy about it as he is not in love and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. To take his mind of things he goes hunting. In the forest he notices swans flying in the skies. Prince Siegfried follows them to the lake. At the lake Prince sees the beautiful white swans swimming near the shore of the lake. The swans are cursed by an evil spell and only power of selfless love can break this evil spell.
Prince Siegfried notices the beautiful Swan (Odette) and is dazzled by her beauty. Later, she reviles to him that only everlasting love can break her spell. Siegfried promises to love Odette forever.
The next day the ball takes place in the queen’s castle. Prince is nowhere to be seen. When he eventually arrives he is presented with the young girls from who he is to make a choice to be his bride. He dances with them only to satisfy his mother but his thoughts are all about Odette.
Suddenly an unknown knight arrives (disguised as the evil curse) and his beautiful daughter Odile. The Prince is confused as Odilie looks very much like Odette. Siegfried is fascinated by Odile and his doubts disappear. The father of Odile (evil curse) requests the Prince to prove the love for his daughter by swearing to love her eternally. As soon as he does that he sees a white swan in the window.
*Editor note- Odette has told the Prince when they met that she can only become a human again if a man falls in love with her and chooses to be with her forever. The Prince to me is quite foolish not to question this when he sees Odilie.
Siegfried realises that he became a victim of the evil curse. In despair, he rushes to the lake to see Odette.
The Prince appears at the lake and begs Odette’s forgiveness. He assures her of his strong and lasting feelings for her.
Suddenly Rothbart appears in a fury and recognises that the two of them realised what is going on. Siegfried invited Rothbart to fight him and he wins. The evil spell is broken straightaway and all the swans are changed into young girls.
LOVE wins over EVIL.
Stay with us and next week you can enjoy reading the story of Sleeping Beauty.