Swan Lake Performed By English National Ballet At Liverpool Empire Review


Reviewed by Kim Bickerdike

Swan Lake has been performed for more than 140 years and is still the world’s most popular ballet and I’m delighted that it has arrived in Liverpool and will be showing at Liverpool Empire until 28th October 2022, providing the people of the North West with the opportunity to revel in this mesmerising masterpiece.

The story tells how Princess Odette is kidnapped by Rothbart, the half-man, half-bird wicked sorcerer who transforms Odette into a swan. Whilst out hunting, Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans and is enraptured by the beauty of Odette, Queen of the Swans, she flees from the lakeside and Prince Siegfried chases her into the night. She explains to the prince that she and her fellow swans have been put under a spell by von Rothbart, a spell which can only be lifted if someone who has never loved before promises to love her forever. At Prince Siegfried’s birthday celebrations, his mum, The Queen presents him with six princesses and demands he chooses one to become his bride, but the prince only has Odette on his mind and he is determined to marry her.

Whether you’re a first timer or long-time lover of ballet, Derek Deane’s reimagined creation of Swan Lake, for the English National Ballet, won’t fail to both enchant and enthral you from the opening scene to the final curtain call. The beautiful sets, costumes, lighting and staging all provide the perfect backdrop to the wonderful ensemble of dancers who flit, glide and prance around the stage. From the flock of swans in white tutu’s with their perfect synchronicity and swan like movements to the male dancers whose energetic moves both dazzle and mesmerise the audience, this ensemble were wonderful and provided an enchanting and unforgettable performance.

As well as the beauty being displayed on stage, Swan Lake is famous for the four act Orchestral work of art composed by Tchaikovsky and is performed by a note perfect English National Ballet Philharmonic led by Musical Director, Gavin Sutherland. The classic and much-loved music was powerful and evocative with melodies increasing as the intensity on the stage deepened and there were harp and violin solo’s which also amplified the more romantic scenes of this dreamy ballet

The stage transforms from an enchanted lakeside to the birthday celebrations of Prince Siegfried at the Great Hall of the Palace and each scene is perfectly designed and allows the audience to focus on the detail of the footwork and the graceful and romantic moves of the ballerinas as the story unfolds. The whole ensemble was fantastic but the ballerinas who performed the roles of Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried were breath-taking and made the perfect pairing. They received a long and deserved standing ovation from a very happy audience. This performance of Swan Lake will leave you with an ever-lasting imprint of enchanted beauty and I would recommend everyone, young and old to go and see this iconic ballet

Rating: 5 Stars

The show is on from Wednesday 28th September until Saturday 1st October

Tickets are available from £13 (subject to a transaction fee of £3.80) and can be purchased by visiting English National Ballet – Swan Lake Tickets | Liverpool Empire in Liverpool | ATG Tickets or phoning the box office on 0333 009 6690

1 Lime Street, Liverpool, L1 1JE

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