Certainly today’s most popular ballet blanc, the piece that has become synonymous with the art of classical ballet, had become forgotten after an unsuccessful first premiere in 1877 in Saint Petersburg, and was one of the biggest disappointments of the ingenious composer Tchaikovsky’s life. The choreographer didn’t understand the dramaturgy nor the music, stating that it is partially undanceable, and the prima ballerina performed numbers from other ballets that had nothing to do with the piece.
It wasn’t until 1894, thanks to the famous choreographer Marius Petipa, as well as Lev Ivanov, that the piece was, in part, performed again. Unfortunately, this was after Tchaikovsky’s death, at the memorial production dedicated to the composer. The first complete, and spectacular production of the ballet was in 1895, in Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky theatre. Ever since, it has been impossible to imagine any ballet house in the world which does not include this beloved and relatable story in its repertoire, this tale about the prince who, after many challenges, succeeds in rescuing the enchanted princess with his love, and free her flock of swan friends from the claws of the evil wizard Rothbart. It is believed that the need for Swan Lake has become a wondrous syndrome, a piece which the true admirers of ballet can never get enough of. For over a hundred and twenty years, this ballet has been one of the greatest challenges to every ballet ensemble and their soloists, and the role of fragile Odette and the evil Odile, which is usually interpreted by one prima ballerina, remains the eternal highest reach of every classical ballerina’s artistic creativity.
The new production of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky will be choreographed by world-renowned dancer and choreographer Vladimir Malakhov, which will add Swan Lake to the collection of his interpretations of classical ballet pieces, such as The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and La Bayadère. His first production of this famous piece will be created for the Zagreb ballet ensemble. The choreographic style of this author, which he developed through many classical and neoclassical ballet pieces, will greatly enrich the repertoire of the Zagreb Ballet, which produces the most challenging works of classical, neoclassical, and contemporary ballet with great enthusiasm and equal success.
VLADIMIR MALAKHOV, named by many critics the dancer of the century due to his lyrical dance style and flawless technique, received his ballet education at the famous Moscow State Academy of Bolshoi Ballet. He was the principal dancer in several prestigious ballet theatres around the world, such as the Vienna State Opera Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. He is a recipient of many prestigious international dance and choreography awards. Choreographing Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake will be the introduction of his work to Zagreb’s audiences.