Swan Lake - The Ballet of Ballets
There are several reasons of why Swan has become the most widespread symbol in the history of ballet – swerving hand movements, expressing sadness, thrill, differing in swiftness. And there is one more reason for that – brilliant music of Piotr Tchaikovsky, which stuns with its overwhelming poetry and without which the image of swan dancer would be unnoticeable.
But it is totally surprising why this music has not been recognised at first, when the ballet was performed on February 20, 1877 in Bolshoi (Odette/Odile performed by P. Karpakova, Siegfried by A. Gelzer). The performance did not entertain much success due to inadequate interpretation of Tchaikovsky's brilliant score by the stage choreographer W. Reisinger. Despite the audience's critique a new era in ballet history started exactly on this date of February the ballet has established its place in arts alongside with opera and symphonic music.
After several mediocre performances the ballet was dismissed from the repertoire and was remounted only on January 15, 1895 by the production of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov at the stage of Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. Ivanov's brilliant "White Swans" scenes were unveiled before the premiere on the evening dedicated to Tchaikovsky's memory. First and third acts belonged to Petipa, second and fourth – to Ivanov. The leading parts were performed by P. Lenian and P. Gerdt. This production served the basis of all the remounting to follow. This is where the Ivanov's White Swan variations and Petipa's well-known black Pas De Deux originate from. Dance of the first performer of the Odette-Odilie role, Italian dancer Perina Leniani was acknowledged as the high class virtue – she was the first to perform the famous 32 fouette for the first time, which continues to thrill the audience today. Nowadays almost every musical theatre has Swan Lake in its repertoire.
The Russian Imperial Theatres staged this ballet in different productions. Of them most outstanding are the ones by Fyodor Lopukhov, Aleksandr Gorsky, Agrippina Vaganova, Asaf Messerer and Konstantin Sergeyev.
The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre even today stages the Swan Lake by Vladimir Bour-meister's production. On December 25, 1969 the premiere performance of Yuri Grigorovich's with set by Simon Virsaladze's was held at the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre (Odette/Odile Natalya Bessmertnova, Prince Siegfried, Nikolai Fadeyechev).
There is no Ballet Company which does not have the Swan Lake in its repertoire. Since the 70ieth of the XX century along with the classical productions of Swan Lake there were non-traditional, non-classical versions of the ballet, among them the ones by John Neumeier (1976), Mats Ek (1987), Roland Petit (1995), Matthew Bourne (1995) and Jan Fabre (2002).
In Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre the first performance of Swan Lake's second act took place in 1907 on the benefit concert in the name of O. Preobrajenskaia by Petersburg Imperial Theatre Ballet Company. Odette/Odile was performed by O. Preobrajenskaia herself, Siegfried P. Kozlov.
In 1912 P. Lopukhov's Ballet Company performed the third and the forth act of the ballet with L. Egorova and S. Andrianov. M. Mordkin staged Swan Lake since 1922 which was finalized by his student M. Moiseev in 1923. In 1928 the ballet was produced by the Italian choreographer
From 1945to 1954 V. Chabukiani's production of Swan Lake was on stage of the Theatre involving Georgian Ballet Company dancers. Odette was performed by I. Aleksidze, Odile E. Demetrash, Siegfried V. Chabukiani. In the years to follow Odette/Odile were performed by outstanding dancers like E. Bauer, V. Tsignadze, E. Gvaramadze, E. Gelovani, L. Nadareishvili, I. Jandieri, N. Arobelidze; Siegfried Z. Kikaleishvili, T. Sanadze, R. Magalashvili, B. Monavardisashvili, V. Abuladze.
In 1975 Konstantin Sergeev remounted Swan Lake at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. Odette/Odile were performed by N. Papinashvili, A. Abesadze, M. Aleksidze, E. Bezirgan, L. Kandelaki: Siegfried V. Julukhadze, O. Beridze, I. Bakhtadze, V. Akhmeteli.
In 2005 Aleksei Fadeyechev staged the new version of the "Swan Lake" at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre. Premiere was held on 11 March 2005.The leading roles were presented by Lali Kandelaki (Odette/ Odile) Irakli Bakhtadze (Siegfried).
Born in Moscow, Alexei Fadeyechev was a principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet in 1978-1998.
Fadeyechev started to work in the Bolsho Theatre being coached by his father, the legendary artist and regular partner of great Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya, Nikolai Fadeyechev. Alexei has mounted and performed over 40 leading parts from the Russian classical ballet repertoire.
Alexei Fadeyechev has been very successful at the Royal Ballet of Covent Garden, where he had performed the title and leading roles in K. MacMillan's, Ahton's, and Wright's masterpieces. He had also performed with the Mariinsky Ballet (formerly Kirov), the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, National Ballet of the Netherlands, National Ballet of Finland, National Ballet of Portugal, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Boston Ballet, Tokyo Ballet and others.
In 1998-2000 A. Fadeyechev worked as the Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet. During this period the Bolshoi stages Balanchine's following ballets for the first time: Symphony in C, Agon, Mozartiana, as well as the Pharaoh's Daughter in Piere Lacotte's choreography. Fadeyechev also remounts the Don Quixote in a new edition.
In 1995 A. Fadeyechev was awarded the title of People's Artist of Russia.
In 2004 Fadeechev staged the ballets Don Quixote at the Rostov State Musical Theatre, and Swan Lake and Don Quixote at the Z. Paliashvili Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tbilisi.
The Ballet Company is rehearsing for the premiere of the Swan Lake.
The corpse de ballet is rehearsing the valse, the actor dancing Siegfried is preparing his variations. The artistic director is giving the last instructions to the dancers. He is especially dissatisfied with the principal male dancer. The newly made costumes are brought in from the workshops of the theatre. The leading dancers engaged in pas de trios are quickly changing into them and start to perform for the rest of the company.
After the Polonese is completed the artistic director allows the dancers to leave except the principal made, whom he asks to repeat the Prince's solo from the first act and leaves the studio still dissatisfied with his performance.
The upset principal tries once again at his variations, then tiered sits down on the studio floor succumbs to his dreams.
Lured by his magic dream the principal imagines himself as Prince Siegfried and finds himself on the banks of a mysterious lake. In the shimmering patches of moonlight on the water, visions of bewitched swan maidens rise up before him. Siegfried catches sight of Odette, the most beautiful of the maidens: he is deeply struck by her beauty. Odette tells him that the swans, including herself, are spell-bound by Rothbart - the Evil Genius and the true love is their only savior. The Prince swears to Odette that he will love her forever and be faithful to her since at last, he has found his romantic ideal of love. Odette warns him that if the vow is broken nothing can help her.
Siegfried repeats her vows of faithfulness and love to her.
The guests are arriving at the Princess Mother's castle for the ball. The Prince must choose among the noble maidens on to become his wife. Siegfried appears: he can think of nothing but Odette and his meeting with her. He dances in an offhand way with the well-born maidens not one of them can compare to his ideal.
Suddenly, a mysterious knight (another embodiment of the Evil Genius) arrives at the ball accompanied by a ravishingly beautiful young girl and a suite of black swans. It is Odile, Odette's double. Struck by their resemblance, Siegfried hurries towards Odile. Siegfried is enchanted by the perfidious Odile. The Evil Genius accomplishes his goal - Prince announces Odile to be his chosen bride. At this very moment, the throne room is plunged in darkness and a vision of the beautiful Odette appears before the assembled company.
Siegfried realizes that he has become a plaything in the hands of Fate. Hoping to atone for his betrayal, he rushes in despair after the receding image of the white swan.
Night- time. A deep gloom overhangs the lake. Odette brings the tragic news: the Prince has broken his vow of faithfulness to her. With his conscience is deeply troubled Siegfried hurries towards Odette begging for forgiveness, but the swans get in his way. Weakened by his combat with Fate, Siegfried collapses...
…The principal is waking up in the studio. He is trying to revive the fading image of Odette from his dreams, but is left vain with his memories.