Behind the Scenes - Czech National Ballet Rehearsing 'Swan Lake'
Photographer: Martin Divíšek
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is among the world's most famous classical ballets and is also the most frequently performed. Swan Lake premiered in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow under the first artistic director of the Czech National Ballet, Vaclav Reisinger. He choreographed the original production.
In 1895, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov reworked the choreography for their own performance in St Petersburg, Russia, and it was their version that went on to became the most popular one. The new Czech National Ballet’s production is based on the version created by world-renowned choreographer and founder of Germany’s Stuttgarter Ballett, John Cranko. The Czech National Ballet is the first big company to have been granted approval to stage the piece outside of Germany.
The Czech National Theater has staged 12 adaptations of Swan Lake, and Cranko’s version is its 13th. The ballet is a love story that mixes classical fairy tale, magic, tragedy and romance in four acts. It tells the tale of Prince Siegfried and a 'swan princess' named Odette (the White Swan), who the prince betrays with Odile (the Black Swan). Siegfried pays for his crime with his life. In every Swan Lake production, one dancer performs the roles of both Odette and Odile. The Czech National Ballet, the biggest dance company in the Czech Republic, was founded in 1883. It is made up of 81 dancers from 14 countries. Filip Barankiewicz is its current artistic director.
This production's dancers started rehearsing on 01 February 2019 and the show premiered on 28 March 2019 at the Czech National Theater in Prague.