• Julia Sumzina

The iconic Swan Lake on the Mariinsky Stage

Swan Lake is a ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed in 1875–76. The first choreography by Julius Reisinger created for the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow wasn’t successful. The 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, staged for the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg became the origin for the years when the Swan Lake has been one of the most famous and symbolical ballets in the history. There are numerous classical and contemporary versions based on the legendary plot.



Konstantin Sergeyev's version premiered on 8 March 1950 in Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre (Mariinsky Theatre) is the legend of Soviet and Russian Ballet that has influenced other Swan Lake productions as well. An interesting fact: the world famous Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake was greatly affected by the Leningrad version and has a lot in common with the Mariinsky’s iconic piece.


In the beginning of December the Swan Lake on the magical historic stage felt a fairy tale comparable with miraculous Nutcracker, exciting and inspiring. Inimitable Viktoria Tereshkina was a strong, brave but soft and lightful Odette and bright charismatic Odile, with irreproachable technique, speaking arms and hands, graceful posture and sparkling eyes. Her Siegfried, Xander Parish, noble and cheerful at the same time in the beginning, charming in his relationships with the Tutor and Jester, was naturally in doubts and controversial feelings in the final part. Accurate performance, brilliant feet and powerful jump showed the audience the exemplary Swan Lake Prince.


It was very curious to see the Prince’s friends when experienced, technical, and infinitely light on stage Vasily Tkachenko flawlessly interacted with confident and accurate beauty Vlada Borodulina and full of youthful charm Alexandra Khiteeva.



Two Big Swans, always confident and graceful Maria Shirinkina and again young and noble Vlada Borodulina, looked marvellously.



The folk dances, especially the Spanish one, gave the II act even more fire. Tall, bright in his movements, but restrained and taut like a string Maxim Zenin in duo with Albina Satynalieva and light, dashing Artem Kellerman with Elizaveta Kulikova moved spectators to sunny Spain.



The orchestra conducted by Gavriel Heine was living with the plot, leading the emotion in the genial score by Tchaikovsky. The atmosphere of magic and love in every part of the performance fascinated and delighted the audience and dancers were enjoying the evening together with spectators. The hallmark performance of the Mariinsky Ballet looks special on the historic stage, particularly with one of the strongest casts in the world.


Text: Julia Sumzina

Photos: Alexander Neff, Julia Sumzina


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