Review: Moscow City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake at Sheffield’s Lyceum

Swan Lake at Sheffield Lyceum
Swan Lake at Sheffield Lyceum

The Moscow City Ballet Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s yearning, restless Swan Lake score with verve and immediacy.

The tragic story of the prince and his love for a young woman who has been transformed into a swan has its roots in Russian folklore, but its appeal is

universal.

The opulent sets at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre transport the audience from court to woodland and back again with the smoothness of a dream.

The dancing of the principals and soloists is outstanding. The prince’s friend, a jester-like figure, brings a touch of lightness to the show. The malevolent sorcerer has an owlish face perpetually screwed up with a look of disdain; towards the end his energy is increasingly dominant. The prince is tricked into declaring his love to the wrong

woman. The moment when his true love appears behind a transparent screen is brilliantly staged.

In the final act the corps de ballet perform the dance of the swan maidens with great delicacy as the haunting music takes on a note of resignation. The audience’s enthusiastic applause was well-deserved.

This popular touring production by Moscow City Ballet is on at the Lyceum until Saturday, January 10.

ALAN PAYNE