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New National Theatre Presents SWAN LAKE in June

Performances run 10-18 June 2023.

New National Theatre Presents SWAN LAKE in June

The production that opened the 2021/2022 Season to much acclaim now returns to close the season. This production by Sir Peter Wright is a stately work, full of dramatic elements that are very British. This production of Swan Lake combines the traditional charm of classic ballet with a new sense of drama.

Following his father's death, Prince Siegfried is to be crowned king and must therefore marry. He dreads the loss of his freedom and has no wish to choose a bride he does not love. It is the night of his 21st birthday and his friends at court have assembled to present him with the gift of a crossbow. His equerry and friend, Benno, has arranged an entertainment to divert him, but in the middle of these celebrations the Queen Mother arrives, unannounced. She is shocked at the revelry while the court is still officially in mourning and reminds Siegfried that the following day he must choose a bride. She departs leaving Siegfried despondent. Benno attempts to cheer him with the help of two girls and the men then join in a drinking dance to toast the future king. When the dancers have gone, a flight of swans passes and Benno suggests that Siegfried try out his new crossbow. They depart in pursuit.

On arrival at the lakeside Prince Siegfried sends Benno in search of the swans. Left alone he becomes aware of an evil presence - the magician Baron von Rothbart. Suddenly a swan approaches, and Siegfried watches in amazement as it is transformed into a beautiful maiden. She is Princess Odette. She and her companions have been turned into swans by Baron von Rothbart and only at night can they return to human form. Odette's enchantment can be broken only if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. Prince Siegfried declares his love and swears to be true for eternity. When von Rothbart appears Prince Siegfried attempts to shoot him, but Odette intercedes explaining that if the magician dies the spell can never be broken. She warns him that if he breaks his vow of love she must remain a swan forever. Dawn approaches. Odette and her companions return to the lake and resume their guise as swans.

At a grand reception Prince Siegfried must choose his bride from three princesses. They each dance for him but his thoughts are elsewhere and he refuses to make a choice. A fanfare announces the arrival of two univited guests; they are von Rothbart, disguised as an ambassador, and his daughter Odile, whom the sorcerer has transformed to look like Odette. The Prince is taken in by the unknown visitors startling resemblance to Odette and belives her to be the Swan Princess.



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