Swan Lake | Australian BalletLeft – Amber Scott. Cover – Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photos – Jeff Busby.

There is a certain buzz about opening night, an air of excitement that cannot be contained. The ballet connoisseurs come out in droves, dressed for the event. Opening night at the ballet, and of The Australian Ballet’s presentation of Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake is nothing short of a celebration.

The iconic ballet, which has been performed in many different incarnations throughout the last century, is once again on home soil and in the daring hands of Australian treasure Graeme Murphy.

Known for his unique insight and interpretation of some of the most well know ballets in the world, Murphy’s Swan Lake is nothing less than a masterpiece. Delving into the emotion of the story, the narrative drives the dancing in this piece and Murphy brings new life to a ballet that in recent years has become more “pop culture” than classical ballet.

Originally premiering in 2002, Murphy’s Swan Lake has become one of the crowning jewels of The Australian Ballet’s repertoire and is a favourite amongst dancers and audience members alike.

Both emotional and riveting, Swan Lake is a rollercoaster of love, betrayal and the fragility of the human heart. Murphy’s Swan Lake removes the need for spells and magic by bringing his own unique sorcery to the stage.

Blessed to have an extraordinary cast of dancers, Amber Scott shines as Odette, both as an actress and a dancer. In a curious twist the characters of both Rothbart and Odille are played as one; The Baroness. Performed by the genuinely frightening Lana Jones, The Baroness is a compelling character of passion, and manages to evoke the audience’s hatred and sympathy with her destructive scheming.

The man in the middle of good and evil, the light and the dark, Odette and Odille is Prince Siegfried. Originally written as a dreamer, Adam Bull plays Siegfried as an easily manipulated and confused boy. While his attentions for Odille take him away from Odette, you cannot help but believe he truly loves both women and has his own battle to fight between head and heart.

It is Odette’s battle that remains most powerful, the inclusion of a sanatorium and what can only be seen as psychosis induced dream, Odette visualizes the swans into existence before the Prince appears and they dance her final moments together.

This is an incredible piece of ballet that is stunning in its execution and heartbreaking in its tragedy. Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake is a beautiful, romantic and tragic journey of a classic story, wonderfully told by a master of narrative choreography.

The Australian Ballet presents
Graeme Murphy’s
Swan Lake

Venue: The State Theatre | Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 21 June – 1 July 2013
Tickets: from $39
Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au

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