Swan Lake

Swan Lake, Sunderland Empire

Birmingham Royal Ballet soared into Sunderland for a mesmerising show of Swan Lake – and it’s safe to say it did not dissapoint.

This enchanting story follows Prince Siegfried who is out hunting one night and encounters a flock of swans. He meets Odette, a young woman who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. The pair fall in love which comes with its fair share of complications due to Odette only being able to take human form between midnight and daybreak.

This magical tale comes with ups, and downs, manipulative plots, enchanting routines and an exquisite set.

It’s quite possible that the cast of Swan Lake are actually swans in disguise, considering how graceful the dancers of the Birmingham Royal Ballet are in their production of this classic tale.

Performing with what seems like unparalleled ease, the cast pirouette posed and pliéd perfectly. Their movements were both polished and fluid, making the swan maidens look like a flock of graceful birds.

Beatrice Parma gave a mesmerising performance as Odette, casting her own spell on the audience as she leapt and twirled across the stage. Her prince, played by Tzu-Chao Chou was just as bewitching in his role as he danced in perfect sync with the princess.

Another role we must mention is Benno, performed by Riku Ito who stole the show with his perfect movements and witty grace. He played the role with both charisma and power, making the character more than just a friend.

Despite this show being over 170 years old, it entranced audience members of all ages. The ballet was a sumptuous delve into a fairytale universe, bewitching and glamourous with the beautifully constructed costumes and equally dazzling set design.

The swan maidens’ white tutus transformed them into a glittering sea that moved in harmony, whilst the gown of the Dowager queen was regal and swayed in amazing dramatic fashion with every movement.

The spectacular live music played by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia aided the atmosphere. The group brought the timeless work of Tchaikovsky to life, with soft haunting pieces as well as dramatic, triumphant scores to accompany the beauty on stage.

Add to that the beautiful Edwardian setting of Sunderland’s Empire Theatre and this show is a must-see for all ages.