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Swan Lake Masterpiece to Tour New Zealand



Prince Siegfried and Odette

The most beloved classical ballet of all time, Swan Lake, is returning to New Zealand for a 14-venue tour. The Imperial Russian Ballet’s season of the Tchaikovsky masterpiece opens at the Bruce Mason Theatre this Thursday, October 31 at 7.30pm.

On Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2, Swan Lake moves to the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland for three performances, Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday, 2pm and 7.30pm.

The masterpiece ballet weaves magic and mystical into the real world. It’s a story where the virtues of love and forgiveness conquer evil and betrayal. When Prince Siegfried is instructed to choose a bride, he rebels and goes shooting instead. As he aims his crossbow at a flock of swans, one of them, Odette, is transformed into a beautiful maiden.

She’s victim of a spell cast by a sorcerer. In the enduring ballet, Odette and Siegfried must manoeuvre against the evil sorcerer so they can be together forever.

The masterpiece ballet is presented in two acts and strictly follows the original storyline. The Artistic Director of Imperial Russian Ballet Company, Gediminas Taranda, has made subtle revisions and variations to make Swan Lake even more impressive.

Tchaikovsky’s ballet was written in the years 1875-’76 and is inspired by Russian and German folk tales. Before composing it, he studied ballet music by Delibes and Adolphe Adam and then merged scores he’d written for a small ballet entitled The Lake Of The Swans and an opera he’d abandoned eight years earlier with his own original music.

The result is one of the finest ballets ever written and established Tchaikovsky as the greatest composer of ballet music of all time.

The Imperial Russian Ballet Company, formed in 1994, comprises 40 dancers from the major ballet schools of Russia and again embarks on an extensive New Zealand tour beginning at the Bruce Mason Theatre on Auckland’s North Shore and ending at the St James Theatre in Wellington on Saturday, November 30.

Its Head and Artistic Director, Gediminas Taranda, was a star of the Bolshoi Theatre performing in many ballets including Giselle, Ivan the Terrible, The Stone Flowers and Spartacus. In 1994 he established and became Artistic Director of the Imperial Russian Ballet Company attracting friends who were dancers of the Bolshoi and Kirov ballets to join.

Gediminas has won many national awards for his contribution to ballet, fundraising for cancer treatment and research and he’s an active participant of AAD (Art Against Drugs). His strive for perfection, as demonstrated by the Imperial Russian Ballet Company, is epitomised in his own words “If something is worth fighting for, you have to fight until the last breath is left in your body.”

In Australian reviews so far, Backtrack said “sweeping extensions and romantic choreography was interspersed with a scattering of playful jokes and vibrant cultural dancers”, the Brisbane Spectrum said “in true Russian style their technique is precise and well executed and they all look beautiful to watch” while the Canberra Critics Circle commented Lina Seveliova’s Odette “perfectly captured the gentle preening and serenity of the swan.”

The Imperial Russian Ballet Company presents Swan Lake at the Bruce Mason Theatre on Thursday, October 31 at 7.30pm and ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre on Friday, November 1 at 7.30pm and Saturday, November 2 at 2pm and 7.30pm. Book 0800 111 999 or via www.ticketmaster.co.nz


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