REVIEW: Swan Lake at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

They say that to see a ballet performance live means that you are truly in the presence of grace and elegance. This could not be more true regarding the incredibly talented Perm State Ballet Company’s recent production of Swan Lake in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. The extraordinary dancing, accompanied by stunning music played by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra as well as the impressive costumes and set design made for an extravagant night of beautiful ballet.

Swan Lake is a classic tale dispersed over three mesmerising acts which tells the story of Prince Siegfried, a young man who falls in love with Odette, a young woman who was cursed with a spell which makes her a swan by day and a human by night. The Perm State Ballet, which trains in Russia, delivered this story to the audience effortlessly without the use of dialogue, just body movements and classical music.

The costumes and set design transported the audience back to the 1800’s, and also helped them to feel the emotions that the dancers were expressing. The white leotards, tutus and headpieces worn by the female cast members were stunning to look at, and clearly conveyed to the audience that these women were portraying swans. The set design combined with the outstanding use of lighting helped to create various atmospheres – at times lively and cheerful, and at others dark and mysterious – and bring them alive in the room to the extent that they were almost tangible among the audience.

It is worth noting how well the RTE National Symphony Orchestra played the score, originally composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky in the 1800’s. Award-winning music director Valeriy Platonov took on the role of principal conductor. To conduct an orchestra performing such iconic classical music must not be an easy task; however Platonov did so effortlessly. The beautiful music was just as enchanting as the dancing.

The star of the show was without a doubt the fantastic ballerina Natalia Moiseeva-Poleschuk, who played the role of Odette. Natalia joined the prestigious ballet company in 1988, and her undeniable talent shows no signs of letting up. The highlight of the show occurred in Act II when Natalia portrayed the character of Odile, an evil maiden who tricks Prince Siegfried into thinking that she is Odette. Natalia’s solo dances in this scene were nothing short of pure brilliance – she particularly impressed the audience by doing 17 perfectly executed fouette turns in a row.

Nikita Chetverikov played the role of Prince Siegfried, and he too attracted a great deal of attention from the audience due to his remarkable ballet skills. Nikita joined the Perm State Ballet company in 2011 and was immediately promoted to Principal Dancer, a true testament to his talent. His ability to execute incredible grand jetes across the width of the stage in Acts I and II won him praise among the audience.

Overall, this flawless production of Swan Lake was nothing short of sheer brilliance for ballet fans, attracting a varied audience with young and old people alike enjoying the performance. The cast, crew and orchestra undeniably all worked extremely hard in order to stage a truly breathtaking and stunning show. After tumultuous rounds of applause and various standing ovations at the end of each act, it is clear to see why the Perm State Ballet Company has an excellent reputation and is considered to be one of the best in the world. The audience’s energy could almost be felt when the show ended, and it was fair to say that everyone left the theatre feeling completely satisfied with this truly memorable performance.

Michelle Townsend

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