This ballet, overturning all the canons of academic choreography, brought not only success, but also immortality to the story about bewitched girls. It is unlikely that there will be a ballet work more famous and, at the same time, with a more complex and controversial stage fate. The extraordinary popularity made it a symbol of all ballet art.
It is hard to believe, but Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself did not see the world triumph of his work, and the premiere, held in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre, was not a success because of mediocre choreography, ridiculous costumes and an ironic libretto: in fact, that was a series of dances with a simple plot.
More than twenty years later, in the talented hands of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, the ballet was reborn: an updated version was shown at an evening dedicated to Tchaikovsky, and a year later the new Swan Lake was presented on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. This version became a classic, formed the basis of most subsequent productions and is recognized today as an immortal masterpiece. Until now, the part of Odette-Odile is the ultimate dream of any ballerina.
Pierina Legnani was the first performer of the main role, she presented to the world thirty-two virtuoso fouettes. The great Odettes and Odiles of the Russian stage are Galina Ulanova, Marina Semenova, Lyudmila Semenyaka, Natalia Bessmertnova. Maya Plisetskaya's record - she danced Odette during 30 years!
It is worth paying tribute to Tchaikovsky: it was extremely convenient to dance with his music, it took to consideration all the accents and tempos needed for certain movements. To this day, the performance allows talented artists to reveal their technical and artistic capabilities.
“Swan Lake” is not just a fairy tale about bewitched girls. It is based on a medieval legend. It is believed that Tchaikovsky could have conceived the music during a trip to Germany, in the romantic castle of the Bavarian king Ludwig II. Today, through ballet, we can see the world of German kings!