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Swan Lake - English National Ballet (Tour - Manchester)

Kristy Stott is mesmerised by this ENB production of this classic ballet.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This season the English National Ballet company bring us Swan Lake, a personal favourite of mine and arguably the most famous ballet in the classical repertoire.

Swan Lake
©Patrick Baldwin

Ballet lovers are in for a treat, however, this iconic production is suitable for everyone- whether it is your first visit to the ballet or your hundredth. Headed up by choreographer, Derek Deane, there is no better a company than the English National Ballet to present this popular classic.

Swan Lake depicts the story of Prince Siegfried's love for the Swan Queen Odette and their battle against the evil sorcerer Rothbart. The wicked half-man, half-bird magician then further complicates the lovers by introducing a beautiful black swan, Odile. Furthermore, Deane's clever choreography reveals that Rothbart is also Siegfried's father.

The female corps de ballet pieces are absolutely spectacular, all twenty four dancers on stage, dressed in their stark white tutus shimmering and twinkling, moving perfectly as one body.

Prima ballerina, Alina Cojocaru is mesmerising playing the twin roles of Odette and Odile, contrasting the innocence and purity of Odette with the seductive and calculating Odile. Cojocaru certainly does not disappoint, turning effortlessly on one spot alongside Brazilian dancer, Alejandro Virelles, who takes his impressive debut role for the company as Siegfried. Virelles demonstrates strength and agility - the harmonious partnership between the two principles is outstanding.

Atmospheric lighting design by Peter Farmer and charming woodland set design complement the graceful magic of the dancers on stage, conjuring up a sense of autumn and the haze of sunlight drifting through the trees to the use of dry ice to create a lakeside dawn.

The quivering formation of the tutued swans and wonderful sound of the soft padding of pointe shoes fully supported by Tchaikovsky's striking, lyrical score, delivered by the full orchestra of the English National Ballet, make for a thrilling, beautiful and faultless production.

English National Ballet's Swan Lake is at the Palace Theatre until 11 October.