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  • Writer's pictureJulia Sumzina

The Swan Lake in XXI century. Angelin Preljocaj and his tribute to Marius Petipa

In November the new big version of the Swan Lake ballet was premiered in Russia. Angelin Preljocaj brought his production to the Diaghilev P.S. festival in Saint Petersburg and then to the stage of Bolshoi in Moscow.

Angelin Preljocaj is a world famous choreographer, whose contemporary pieces have classical roots but never copy the recognizable academic traits. His most celebrated work is Le Parc (1994) made for the Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris and regularly performed in Saint Petersburg by Mariinsky ballet. His Noces (1989), Annonciation (1995), Roméo et Juliette (1996 and 2015), The Rite of Spring (2001), Snow White (2009) etc. show him as an artist, who is not afraid of big pieces with original decorations. His idea is quite far from abstraction usual for many contemporary choreographers.

Swan Lake (2020) combines Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece with contemporary arrangements by 79D. Swans here are symbolic as a tribute to ballet, dance itself, to ecological problems, to the anxiety and confused reality of modern world. The setting design by Boris Labbé and Éric Soyer, Igor Chapurin’s costumes make the special atmosphere and image seems like a film from 1960s.

The choreography and libretto contain deep emotions and drama in combination with subtle humor and ironic attitude to the modern society. It’s very curious to look at the movements that reflect every shade of performance’s mood.

Siegfried here is the main character, performed by Laurent Le Gall he goes from the bored wealthy heir to the tragic hero with open heart and the amazing lightness of dance in the very physically demanding style. Théa Martin, in her turn, showed two opposite characters of Odette and Odile with the equal power of charisma.

Charming and dangerous Rothbart by Antoine Dubois, the magnificent Mother and bright Father by Mirea Delogu and Simon Ripert bring even more of individuality to the ballet.

The choreographer has said that was inspired by the Russian Swan Lake which he saw in Saint Petersburg a while ago and we can perceive his version as an impressive tribute to Marius Petipa from the XXI century.

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