It is difficult to believe today that Swan Lake was a failure on its production in 1877 and was not successful until the Petipa/Ivanov version of 1895. Today it is regarded as one of the greatest works in the art of ballet. The magic of Tchaikovsky's music, embodying the love of Prince Siegfried for the enchanted Swan Queen has greatly contributed t o making this the best loved of all classical ballets. This production, with designs by the late Leslie Hurry, stars Natalia Makarova as Odette-Odile and Anthony Dowell as Prince Siegfried. Prince Siegfried celebrates his twenty-first birthday; his mother tells him it is time to marry, but he prefers to go hunting. Alone, by a lakeside, he sees a swan who turns to human form. She is an enchanted princess who can be saved only by true love. He promises this, but is tricked by the wicked magician who disguises his own daughter as the swan-maiden. In despair, Siegfried and the swan-maiden leap to death together and their sacrifice destroys the evil power. Featuring the Royal Ballet Covent Garden, with the Orchestra of Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, conducted by Ashley Lawrence.
DVD. 137 minutes. Color.