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After Delhi, Swan Lake opens in Mumbai to sweep you off your feet

The Royal Russian Ballet is bringing Swan Lake to Mumbai, for 25 shows across 13 days, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts

mumbai Updated: Mar 14, 2018 10:10 IST
Jayati Bhola
Jayati Bhola
Hindustan Times
mumbai,delhi,swan lake
Slight variations have been made in the sets and costumes, to make them colourful and contemporary, said choreographer Vladmir Troschenko.(HT photo)

There’s thwarted love, villainous deceit and the age-old fight of good versus evil — all told through the twirls and pirouettes of 41 ballet dancers dressed in gold and white.

The Royal Russian Ballet is bringing Swan Lake to Mumbai, for 25 shows across 13 days, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

About the show
  • WHAT: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake
  • WHEN: March 13 to 25; shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
  • WHERE: NCPA, Nariman Point
  • COST: Tickets start at Rs2,360, available online

The original composition by Tchaikovsky has undergone several changes since it premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow 141 years ago.

“Our production is based on the ballet conceptualised by Marius Petipa [considered the father of classical ballet] and Lev Ivanov [a Russian choreographer and ballet dancer] back in 1895, who changed the musical narrative yet retained the essence of original composition,” says Anatoliy Kazatskiy, director of this production of Swan Lake. “Though we’ve retained the traditional choreography, we’ve changed the ending from tragic to a positive one where good wins over evil.”

Slight variations have been made in the sets and costumes, to make them colourful and contemporary, adds choreographer Vladmir Troschenko.

This staging is being co-produced by the Gurgaon-based Navrasa Duende, which first brought it to Delhi in September. “Almost 10,000 people attended the five shows held there,” says Dinesh Singh, founder of the production company.

From Mumbai, Swan Lake will travel to Ahmedabad, Kolkata and back to New Delhi.

The story is inspired by Russian folk tales about a princess named Odette who was cursed by a sorcerer, turned into a swan, and then had to battle an evil black swan, Odile, for the prince they both loved.

“The duets of both Odette and Odile with Prince Siegfried have always been my favourite as they depict the power of both women’s love for the prince,” says Mikhail Tkachuk, 28, who plays Odette and Odile [both parts are usually performed by the same ballerina]. “This is my first time performing in India and I am very excited.”

At the Delhi shows, about 40% of the audience was below 35, says Singh. This may have to do with The Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-winning 2010 film, which was about a production of Swan Lake.

Whatever the reason behind the reception, the Russian ballet company was thrilled by the response. “We want to touch peoples’ lives and inspire audiences,” says director Kazatskiy. “That’s what the performing arts are intended for.”

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 10:51 IST