For my birthday last month, Sasha took me to the Ballet to see Swan Lake. We made an evening out of it, stopping to get Sushi and some froofy drinks before hand.
First presented as The Lake of the Swans by the Ballet of the Bolshoi Theatre on March 4, 1877 in Moscow, Russia, the story of Swan Lake is told entirely in the art form of dance, here is my translation:
Part one: Prince Siegfried, heir to the kingdom is about to turn 21. His Mom is going to throw him an elaborate party where he will need to choose a bride. He is sort of miffed about this, because he would rather marry for love. The night before the big event, he throws himself an impromptu little shin dig where he relaxes with some pals. They dance around and party. This is when I feel like I am 12 years old, because I am very distracted by how the male dancers look in their tights. By the size of his package, it is obvious why Siegfried is the Kingdom heir.
Anyway, at the party, one of his bros is drinking too much which Siegfried thinks aint cool. The Princeís Mom shows up to give him a little gift and she is also annoyed at the drinking. Siegfried swears he did not partake, but she does not fully believe him. She gives him the gift of a bow and arrow for hunting. Siegfried runs off with some friends to go hunting.
That first act was kind of boring. There were some pretty dances, but there was nothing to the story other than people partying for 25 minutes. This is fine though, since we know the exciting part is coming up next after the intermission.
Part two: The curtains open to a night setting with an enormous and bewitching moon hung in the background. Fog covers the stage and suddenly we see a wicked creature in a big purple cape. He dances around and swirls the fog with this kick-ass huge cape. He exits and then we see some swans dancing around, looking quite lovely in their white skirts that stand straight out. It is quite magical watching this part of the ballet. There looks to be 20 swans dancing in difficult, but incredible unison.
Siegfried shows up with his arrow and is excited to see so many swans in one spot, ready to be shot with an arrow. He looks closer and cannot believe his eyes: The swans turn into ladies! There is one swan lady in particular that he is drawn to. Her name is Odette. For some reason, which is unknown to me, the dude in the purple cape is an evil sorcerer and with a curse, he turned Odette into a swan by day, lady by night.
The prince and Odette dance a Pas de deux (a dance for two) and fall in love. Having someone fall in love with her and to be faithful to that love is the one thing that will break the curse.
The evil sorcerer shows up and chases off the prince.
Part three: the big 21st birthday party. People from all over the world show up for the princeís birthday party. He is supposed to pick a bride, but he is totally bummed out. He cannot stop thinking about Odette. Suddenly the evil sorcerer shows up, only the prince does not recognize him, because he is not wearing that kick-ass cape. The evil sorcerer has a chick with him that looks an awful lot like Odette, except her cute little white tutu is now black. The prince is so excited; he drags her off into another room so they can make out. The trouble is this is not Odette. It is actually the sorcererís daughter Odile brought to trick the prince into being unfaithful to Odette.
Meanwhile, the prince is off feeling up the wrong chick, but the party goes on. A representative from each country in elaborate and beautiful costume dances for the queen. We see some amazing pas de deux and even a pas de trois, possibly even a pas de quatre.
The prince finally comes back and does a little dance with his lady. He then professes his love for her. He proclaims to the court that he intends to make her his wife. This is when Odile and the Sorcerer bust out laughing. The prince sees the real Odette standing outside and he realizes he made a mistake and has thus doomed Odette to a lifetime of swanhood on a full time basis. Typical! He runs after her and instead of busting him upside the head, she forgives him and gives him one last, hot dance. Odette turns back into a swan, this time for good & the sorcerer takes her away. Prince Siegfried is left alone in grief as the curtain falls.