Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, Theatre Hybernia, Prague: A Review
Today they call it having a 'Bucket List'. But not adhering to American culture I would prefer to call it the 'Things to do list'. As in things one must definitely do before one departs this earth.
Having never been to the ballet before and on a short-visit to Prague, it was decided to see Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
Costing approximately £30, I thought it would be good to immerse myself in high-brow culture. After all, it would do me no harm and if I found it terribly poor I could always make a quick exit before curtain call.
I did mock myself on the build-up before going. As in, would I be like the Elephant Man in that scene where the poor wretched creature goes to the theatre and marvels at the production? I pictured the sad spectacle and added a bit on myself for dramatic effect.
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On entering the theatre I noticed the imposing crimson curtain and did try to envisage the Victorian nobility in the Royal Box and how they must have dressed and behaved.
I did notice one French lady who sat in front of me had tried to look the part. She wore long dangly diamond looking earrings and a fur coat (I don't know if they were fake or not). Nonetheless, she did not produce those little posh binoculars.
On to the production itself, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was composed in 1875 as a commission by Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, the intendant of the Russian Imperial Theatres in Moscow.
The pre-drama materialised with a sort of gong going off before the curtain came up and I was impressed by the regalia and how fit and co-ordinated the dancers were.
All the ballet moves were there I later discovered; as in Pirouettes, Plies and fouettes, but something still lacked for me personally. Was it blue blood?
I did chuckle inwardly though in one scene. When Prince Seigried left the stage after doing those 'in the air splits'. It reminded me of a picture in the Beano when Minnie the Minx had to 'scarper'.
Commoner observations over and never a big fan of classical music, this 19th century fairy tale production was uplifting. From what I could gather it was a story of vying for the love of the fair maiden complete with sorcerers and spells.
However, one can never take the commoner out of the occasion and when Odette returned for the final foray clad in flowing attire, I did feel like bellowing. 'You've still got yer nightie on duck'.