Swan Lake

Lyric Theatre (Australian Ballet)


Professional production

The Australian Ballet’s latest production of Swan Lake breathes life into a great classic. It is as sad as a Russian violin and as raw as the madness of unrequited love.

Its the story of a young maiden Odette realising her husband, Prince Siegfried, is in love with another woman, a Baroness. Odette is sent away by royal command to a cold, harsh, white sanatorium. With her spirit broken, she finds escape in a frozen dream with swan-like maidens.

Madeleine Eastoe danced the role of Odette with great pathos and beauty. Her estranged husband, Siegfried, was danced by Steven Heathcote. He continues to show the mastery and elegance which have brought audiences such joy over the years. Lynette Wills was a powerful figure of dark seduction as the Baroness.

Choreographer Graeme Murphy has brought new passion to an old story. The scenes in the sanatorium are chilling. The sexual contest between Odette and the Baroness work themselves out in a dynamic as relevant to the Queen Street Mall as it was to 19th Century Russia. The set design by Kristian Fredrickson has the simplicity of a grand scale and complements the familiar but emotional music of Tchaikovsky played sensitively by the Queensland Orchestra.

There is a deep sadness about this story of tragic love; however our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Brisbane gets to see this production before it premieres on the international stage in Cardiff and London in July this year, and its a show not to be missed.

Choreographed by Graeme Murphy.

Playing until Wednesday 2 March 2005 with performances at 7.30pm (6.30pm Monday) and a matinee Saturday 1.30pm. Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes, including two intervals

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Wed 23rd February 2005)