This year marks 121 years since the birth of famous Russian Ballet "Swan Lake". Although, in fact the plot of Swan Lake ballet is ordinary; sorcery, love, betrayal - nevertheless the music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovskiy endows a familiar story with an unusual warmth and energy of compassion .
Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson delivers a striking return of the enchanting story to San Francisco Ballet with breathtakingly modern stage design and splendid costumes by scenery and costume designer Jonathan Fensom. Opening up the first act is miniature, yet powerful dancer, Maria Kochetkova as Odette, followed by elegant dancing and gallant acting by Davit Karapetyan as an ideal prince Siegfried and finally closing the act with a choreographic gem, pas de trois performed by Koto Ishihara, Gennadi Nedvigin and Lauren Strongin.
Act two captivated the audience with synchronized movements by graceful and talented corps de ballet. The whole company is outstanding – but the harmony between the two principles during their pas de deux is spectacular.
Conductor Martin West led the fine orchestra marrying music to exquisite adagio lines.
An amazing technique used in the movement of Maria Kochetkova's head and feet transformed this Swan Queen from human to bird. And of course famed 32 fouetté turns making the audience applause and cheer with great satisfaction.
The wonderful sound of pointe shoes across the stage at War Memorial Opera House, backed by Tchaikovsky’s legendary lyrical score delivered by the San Francisco Ballet made the old new again– thrilling, beautiful and faultless. Bravo!
Text: JULIET BELKIN