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BrumHour was invited to see Swan Lake by Birmingham Royal Ballet.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet – Swan Lake 2023 at Birmingham Hippodrome
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A stunning production.
Choreography Lev Ivanov, Marius Petipa and Peter Wright. Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Returning to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage for the first of its 2023 productions, Birmingham Royal Ballet brings one of the best-known ballets, Swan Lake. It is the story of a Prince (César Morales at this performance) and his fascination with Princess Odette/Odile (Miki Mizutani) who has been transformed into a swan by a magician (Jonathan Payn).
Told in a classical style, this production features Sir Peter Wright’s choreography following on from Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa. It feels very European (like a less angry and less bloody Game of Thrones) with its emphasis on the traditions of Kingdoms and the royalty of Europe. The King has died and his wife, now the Queen Mother wants her son, the Prince to marry and marry fast. Suitors from other Kingdoms are presented and perform for the Royal household.
This is a big production which lasts for four acts and has two intervals bringing its running time to two hours and fifty minutes. It features dark, rich colours in the costumes which makes Odette as a swan stand out even more in her bright white clothing.
A stunning musical accompaniment comes from Royal Ballet Sinfonia and is elegantly played with a real delicate touch to represent the swans whilst the threat and danger comes in the form of on-stage thunder with suitably threatening music to accompany it.
César Morales is a fine leading man and easily shows off the character of the prince whilst demonstrating the difficult situation his character is facing. Miki Mizutani is fantastic as Odette/Odile and her performance pulls the audience into her character’s swan entrapment.
I always find myself transported out of my seat into a totally different world at the ballet and it certainly has a magical effect on the audience. I did think it might just be the themes that make me feel like this but it is the strong storytelling and skill of the dancers that bring out these vibes.
A stunning production, Swan Lake is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 25th February 2023. Limited tickets are available here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/brb-swan-lake-three. Discover more about Birmingham Royal Ballet here: brb.org.uk.