Swan Lake is one of the most popular works in the canon of classical ballet. The NNTT's Swan Lake, which premiered in 2006, was updated and given new choreography by former Artistic Director Maki Asami. It is a bold production that retains the refinement of earlier versions, and adds a contemporary and sophisticated sense of color, thanks to English artist Peter Cazalet. A number of things make this production unique. The storyline has a logical consistency that makes it quite accessible even to the casual viewer, and the origin of the tale is laid out clearly in the prologue. In addition, the ballet includes the often-cut Russian Dance, and is overall characterized by fast-paced dancing and displays of incredible technique.
To give more people the opportunity to see Swan Lake, which is loved by so many and which has become almost a byword for ballet itself, the NNTT has scheduled a performance during the Golden Week holiday. This should be welcome news for families wanting to attend all together, and people living farther away from Tokyo.
One night, Prince Siegfried meets Princess Odette by the lake and falls in love with her. Turned into a swan by the evil Rothbart, the princess is restored to human form only at night. The prince makes up his mind to rescue her and swears eternal love for her. However at the ball, he begs to marry Odile, daughter of the magician, who is identical to Odette. He asks Odette's forgiveness and fights against his fate, and finally the love of the two breaks the spell.