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Swan Lake productions

What's the Best Swan Lake production today?   51 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the Best Swan Lake production today?

    • 1. ABT's (McKenzie)
      8
    • 2. NYCB's (Martins)
      1
    • 3. Royal Ballet's (Dowell)
      10
    • 4. POB's (Nureyev)
      4
    • 5. Kirov (Sergeyev)
      18
    • 6. Other (please specify)
      10

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52 posts in this topic

There could be dozens of choices, but I've picked the 5 big ones. While this poll is limited to current productions, nostalgic yearnings may be posted, as well as alternate suggestions :)

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Please come back, "Other" voter :) Tell us which "Other" you'd choose!

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I am the Other poster :tiphat: I voted for the Bolshoi's production of Swan Lake :)

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I'm another "other" voter. Balanchine's one-act "Swan Lake" is as much as I've ever needed. Unfortunately, at NYCB we now have Peter Martins's evening-long bore.

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I've seen all of those versions. Is there a "none" option? Without that option, based on production alone, I'd give it to Dowell (no jester, no happy ending, no swamp creature-pimp von Rothbart, dancers reasonably trained in that repertory). Which says a lot about the state of Swan Lake today. But it's the most salvageable.

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I voted for the Kirov. I haven’t seen the POB or Royal productions, but of the current productions that I’ve seen (ABT,NYCB, Kirov & Bolshoi) the Kirov’s is definitely my favorite. I don’t even consider Martin’s worthy of discussion. It’s as if he’s saying to the audience - ok, we’re going to put on this old chestnut (wink, wink), don’t worry about anything any of those silly characters appear to be doing, we’ll just get thru it as quickly as possible, throw in a few new steps & then get you to some of the iconic Ivanov/Petipa stuff so you can say you’ve seen it and our ballerinas can say they’ve danced it...

The Bolshoi’s is very dramatic but strangely unmoving. McKenzie’s misses the mark so often that it can be really frustrating. I’ve gotten used to his prologue and swamp thing/von Rothbart split but I just can’t accept what he’s done to the lakeside acts, especially act 4. In a good performance you come out of Act 3 with all of that stormy, swirling emotionalism and instead of bringing it to a climax his act 4 just lets it dissipate. The part he leaves out where Sigfried is searching through the groups of swans for Odette is so integral to the resolution of the drama it’s absence always kills the magic for me. I hate the way your first glimpse of Odette after the betrayal finds her standing alone on the cliff instead of being comforted by her swans. I also dislike the way this production forces the prince to be a wimpy outsider. I consider that to be a valid interpretation, but McKenzie’s production makes it the only one possible.

I really like the Kirov’s. I don’t mind the jester at all, I think he is entertaining and can work as a kind of “narrative device” to help move the plot along. I’d prefer a tragic ending but the happy ending doesn’t bother me that much because there is more drama and pathos in this version than any of the “tragic” versions around these days. The one thing I really miss in the Kirov staging is Odette’s mime. That's certainly a flaw in my eyes, but despite it's flaws the Sergeyev production is one of the few left that really gets to the heart & soul of the story. I also really love their version of the first act pas de trois, and the way that each member of the corps brings total commitment and and conviction to even the smallest role.

My favorite past productions were the ones I grew up with, Ashton’s for the RB (I loved his first act waltz) and Blair’s for ABT. I would love to see a plain vanilla traditional Swan Lake. Does anyone know what the one the Perm ballet is bringing to NJPAC & Princeton is like?

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I voted for the Royal, but also like the Kirov (of 10 years ago), and would go to any of them with pleasure, except the Martins. Like Farrell Fan, I really venerate the Balanchine Act II as a stand-alone, and the way it used to be performed at NYCB in (here we go again) the old days by virtually every cast.

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I read somewhere that the curret RB production is a bit more authentic than most other productions. Is this true?

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The Dowell production of Swan Lake is an abomination. The sooner it's dumped and the former version brought back the better.

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Well, Royal Ballet has had the revolving door of Swan Lake productions lately....I saw the unfortunate, very recent Makarova one last year (no magic, dusty), and they are bringing yet another "new" one on tour to the US next year...One can hope for something better!

The Balanchine is superb--and they are doing it several times in Saratoga this summer, so no grumbling, please.....

I love the Kirov one, but lament the curtailment of mime....perhaps they will restore it (hint hint)...the ending is silly, but there is so much else that is good....

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Well, Royal Ballet has had the revolving door of Swan Lake productions lately....I saw the unfortunate, very recent Makarova one last year (no magic, dusty), and they are bringing yet another "new" one on tour to the US next year...One can hope for something better!

I'm sure Juliet temporarily got her bad productions mixed up, but the revolving door has been "Sleeping Beauty." :dunno: I'm also hoping for something better (taking on faith that the Makarova production wasn't up to snuff, having personal experience with the Crooked Production that preceded it). We'll get to see it in D.C. next spring.

And maybe the next spring, we'll see a Back to the Old Royal Ballet Great Production Putting All the Ashton Dowell Dumped Back In production.

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I only dimly remember my last RB Swan many, many years ago, with their hot, young phenom Darcey Bussell. That's probably a good sign that it has no jarring novelties. Is that the current production?

So, going on the process of elimination, and mindful that Leigh and I have similar taste, I'm following his lead and voting Royal.

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OOPS!!!!! I got caught in the briars..... :dunno: Thanks!

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Dazzled by Carabosse's threads, no doubt ;) I knew you knew. :dunno:

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.

My favorite past productions were the ones I grew up with, Ashton’s for the RB (I loved his first act waltz) and Blair’s for ABT. I would love to see a plain vanilla traditional Swan Lake. Does anyone know what the one the Perm ballet is bringing to NJPAC & Princeton is like?

nysusan,

I think we grew up on the same two Swan Lakes. The Ashton one for Royal Ballet and the Blair for ABT were the ones I came to know the ballet by.

Your question on the Perm version is interesting.

This is not an answer because much can change in 13 years, but if you click on the Amazon link and search Swan Lake Perm, you will see the VHS with Nina Ananiashvili from a 1992 Perm performance.

I have this, haven't looked at it in a long time, but remember it being being similar to other Russian/Soviet versions. (these are not pluses for me)

But I do remember some very nice work from the corps, which surprised me, then I did a little research and found that Perm is a major ballet company, maybe 3 rd after Maryinsky and Bolshoi in Russia, or rather the former USSR.

I also remember Nina's very fast fouettes in Act 3.

Richard

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I'm with Leigh on this one, though I admit to not having seen all of the productions.

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.

nysusan,

I think we grew up on the same two Swan Lakes. The Ashton one for Royal Ballet and the Blair for ABT were the ones I came to know the ballet by.

Your question on the Perm version is interesting.

This is not an answer because much can change in 13 years, but if you click on the Amazon link and search Swan Lake Perm, you will see the VHS with Nina Ananiashvili from a 1992 Perm performance.

Richard

Thanks Richard. I actually have that video somewhere but after I posted my question I did a little research on the web and it seems that Makarova is doing a new staging for them, which is the one they are bringing on this tour. Which leaves only one question for me - see it at NJPAC or at both Princeton and NJPAC! Road trip, anyone?

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I voted for the Kirov (big surprise, right? :rofl: )

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Well I voted "Other"

My favorites is three very different productions of Swan lake.

1. The new classic of Matthew Bourne.

2. Peter Wright's dark and gothic produktion with the Royal Swedish Ballet.

3. Barbie of Swan lake, with Choreography by Peter Martins and with the London Symphony Orchestra. A colorful animated fairytale, not to be missed.

Edited by Dr. Coppelius

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Dr. Coppelius, can you elaborate on the Peter Wright production? Many years ago, I saw his Swan Lake for what was then the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and by today's standards, it was definitely a 'traditional' Swan Lake.

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Martins' version does not seem to be doing well. I'm out of the loop recently as regards the NYCB. Just what has been the recent performance history of this production at the State Theater? And what do the NYCB fans think of it?

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Dr. Coppelius, can you elaborate on the Peter Wright production? Many years ago, I saw his Swan Lake for what was then the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and by today's standards, it was definitely a 'traditional' Swan Lake.

Well my other favorites are VERY untraditional, so thats why I like the Peter Wright production, it's "back to the original" and "authentic" as the artistic director says in an interview, and it's also very swedish, if Bergman had done svan lake it maybe have been something like this. Why didn't Bergman do a ballet? he did an opera.

This evening on the Mezzo channel it's a Bolshoi production of swan lake and also Don Quichotte with Baryshnikov.

Edited by Dr. Coppelius

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Off-topic: Bergman did do a "Swan Lake," in a way: "Summer Interlude."

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Thank you, drb!

What beautiful hands Lopatkina has.

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