Arts

The Australian Ballet To Bring Sell Out Swan Lake To Adelaide

Following a sold out season in Sydney, the magic of Swan Lake returns when Stephen Baynes’ masterful interpretation comes to Adelaide this May…

Revered the world over as on of the premier performance pieces to be undertaken by any school, The Australian Ballet are bringing one Swan Lake to Adelaide this week, off the back of a sold out season in Sydney.

Resident Choreographer of the Australian Ballet, who just happens to be an SA ex-pat, Stephen Baynes’ Swan Lake was created in 2012 to mark The Australian Ballet’s 50th anniversary. This visually beautiful production embodies the Company’s quest to uphold heritage while striving to find new life in classic works. Swan Lake will open in Adelaide at the Festival Centre, from 26-31 May.

Swan Lake has special significance for the Company: it was the first ballet ever danced by The Australian Ballet in 1962 at her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney. Fifty years later, the new Swan Lake by Baynes entered the Company’s repertoire in 2012. His beautiful, traditional ballet is the perfect counterpoint to Graeme Murphy’s modern day Swan Lake, which was commissioned for the Company’s 40th anniversary, and which has toured across Australia and around the globe over this decade.

This production, being revived by the company in 2016, with music performance by the much-loved Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, has not been stage in Adelaide since 2013 when it was received to great acclaim.
An ageless ballet that has enchanted audiences for centuries, Baynes combines grand scale and psychological intimacy. His treatment of Swan Lake is a reverential reimagining, respecting the traditions and techniques of classical ballet.

The powerful work is complemented by Hugh Colman’s designs, which pit Edwardian glamour against the spectral beauty of the white acts. The celebrated costume and set designer showcases his love of the classics with this heritage production. His extravagant and lavish designs further heighten the drama of the tragic love story. From the festive Edwardian costumes of the court to the spectacular ice-blue tutus of 24 swans on the moonlit lake, this production will captivate audiences of all ages.

An integral part of Swan Lake is Tchaikovsky’s score, one of ballet’s most recognisable pieces of music. Commissioned in 1875, it reportedly took the Russian composer a year to complete. From the first yearning bars, the music takes audiences to another world. With its bewitched Swan Queen, doomed Prince, and velvety rich score, Swan Lake is the ultimate night at the ballet for seasoned ticket holders and newcomers alike.

Swan Lake made its debut in Moscow in 1877 and is one of the world’s most performed ballets. This is the fourth interpretation to enter The Australian Ballet’s repertoire. In its various incarnations, Swan Lake has been danced by the Company 612 times, making it the most frequently performed ballet in the Company’s history.

This is the 20th work that Baynes has created for The Australian Ballet and his third full-length ballet. Baynes studied at The Australian Ballet School before joining the company in 1976. He first experimented with movement in 1986, creating Strauss Songs, a piece that won an Australian Ballet choreographic competition.

The Australian Ballet’s Swan Lake

When: 26 – 31 May (6 performances)
Where: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Tickets: australianballet.com.au or call 1300 369 741

Photo: Artists of The Australian Ballet in Swan Lake 2016 by Daniel Boud

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