Swan Lake - Lyceum Theatre, by Ann Beedham

Swan Lake - Lyceum Theatre

THIS must be one of the most famous and most parodied ballets but still, sometimes, the plot can be a little unfathomable.

The story from Moscow City Ballet opens at a party as Prince Siegfried, with his chiselled cheekbones, flowing locks and regal bearing, comes of age and needs to choose a bride.

Lots of gesturing and posturing amid the dancing, may seem a little long-winded despite the sumptuous scenery and costumes.

For anyone who has not seen a production of this story before and not read the programme, it may be a little baffling too, as they wonder when any swan might eventually turn up.

These proceedings are admirably lifted by the jester, a wonderfully warm, smiling and sprightly performance with tremendous moves. In fact he looks much more fun as a potential hubby than the cool, fairytale hunk, Siegfried.

But when the prince meets his delicate and exquisite swan, the magic flutters in and he charms both her and the audience.

Odette is portrayed beautifully, fragile and trembling, whilst the scheming black swan, Odile, is a wonderful contrast, with ethereal beauty turning darkly coquettish. Siegfried doesn’t stand a chance.

Her dancing as both characters is confident and superb, with Odile’s famous 32 continuous fouettés carried out with seeming ease and perfect poise.

Von Rathbart, the evil sorcerer, is a sneaky, low-crouching, whirling baddie well worthy of a boo or two, and all the company work hard to complete the occasion.

Plus, of course, that famous, evocative music soaring throughout provides a treat in itself.