Ohio Theatre | Columbus, Ohio
Originally composed by the famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875–76, Swan Lake is now a very famous and much loved ballet. Ballet Met present: Swan Lake at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus on Saturday, April 29th, 2023. Despite its initial failure, in the 1870s and, 1880s, it is now one of the most popular ballets of all time. There is no evidence of where the idea for the plot came from, or no way to prove who wrote the original libretto. The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian and German folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil curse from the sorcerer Rothbart. The main story line revolves around Odette and Siegfried, but worldwide, the love story varies a little, but the biggest difference in productions all over the world is the ending. It was originally tragic, but many productions change the endings, and now it is sometimes altered into a happy ending.
In the palace, Prince Siegfried is celebrating his birthday, when the revelries are interrupted by Siegfried's mother, the Queen. She is concerned about her son's carefree lifestyle, and tells him that he must choose a bride at the royal ball the following evening. Siegfried is upset, that he cannot marry for love. As evening falls, trying to lift Siegfried’s mood, Benno sees a flock of swans flying overhead and suggests they go on a hunt. Siegfried and his friends take their crossbows and set off in pursuit of the swans. At the lakeside, Siegfried has become separated from his friends, and arrives, just as a flock of swans land on the water. He aims his crossbow, but freezes when one of them transforms into a beautiful maiden, Odette. She is initially terrified of Siegfried, until he promises not to harm her. She explains that she and her companions are victims of a spell cast by the evil owl-like sorcerer Rothbart. By day, they are turned into swans and at night, by the side of the enchanted lake – created from the tears of Odette's mother – do they return to human form.
The spell can only be broken if one who has never loved before swears to love Odette forever. The sorcerer Rothbart suddenly appears. Siegfried threatens to kill him, but Odette intercedes – if Rothbart dies before the spell is broken, it can never be undone. Rothbart disappears, the swan maidens fill the clearing. As dawn arrives, the spell draws Odette and her companions back to the lake and back into swans. Meanwhile, at the ball, guests arrive at the palace for a costume ball. Six princesses are presented to the prince, as candidates for marriage. Rothbart arrives, with his daughter Odile, where both in disguise. Odile, to look like Odette. All evening, the other princesses try to attract the prince, but Siegfried only has eyes for Odile. Odette appears at the castle window, attempting to warn Siegfried, but he does not see her. Siegfried announces that he will marry Odile, when cunningly, Rothbart shows him a magical vision of Odette.
Grief-stricken and realizing his mistake, Siegfried hurries back to the lake. At the lakeside, Odette is distraught. The swan-maidens try to comfort her. Siegfried arrives to make a passionate apology. She forgives him, but his betrayal cannot be undone. Rather than remain a swan forever, Odette chooses to die. To be with his love, Siegfried chooses to die, and they leap into the lake. This breaks Rothbart's spell over the swan maidens, causing him to lose his power, and he dies. The swan maidens, now transformed back into regular maidens, watch as Siegfried and Odette ascend into the Heavens together.