A review of American Ballet Theatre
in "Swan Lake" by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.
Yet unless you think that 32 fouetté turns are what ballet is all about, this production (new in 2000) really doesn’t showcase the greatest features of “Swan Lake.” It starts handsomely enough, and its storytelling virtues don’t flag. But its most obvious deficiency occurs in Act IV, which is rushed and gives too little to either ballerina or corps de ballet.
It’s as if Mr. McKenzie shared the feeling that the fouetté turns, danced by the anti-heroine, Odile, are where the ballet reaches its summit, and he tries to polish off the remainder as quickly as possible, without any intermission. Half the final act is danced before a front cloth, and the music has achieved its first important climax before we’ve even reached the lakeside or seen Odette again. The bond between ballerina and corps de ballet, so central to Act II, is no longer in the picture.