Swan Lake – Royal Russian Ballet in Mumbai

Note: I haven’t written in a while and my thoughts aren’t all that well-gathered today so this post is going to be a bit messy. Bear with me for today, once I resume writing as usual, the quality will return.

The Royal Russian Ballet is in town this week with the classic Swan Lake, and of course, I went for it.

And needless to say, Tchaikovsky you fucking god. You absolute legend. I’ve been blown away exponentially. I’ve always loved the main Swan Lake theme, but after listening to everything from the production with full context and understanding – I’m just – I have no words. You’ve blessed us.

And beyond the music, it was pretty interesting because the show was, after all, a ballet, and this was actually my first time seeing one. So that, too, was really cool.

In addition to the breathe-taking music, the dances were pretty awesome too. The dancers were incredible – they were just gorgeous. The princess (Odette) and the Court Jester were my personal favourites. And the scenes with all the swans were just breathe-taking. Now, I’m not a dancer and I don’t know much about dance, but I really liked what I saw. The formations and the motions and everything. It was just all really amazing.

The Acts II and IV were just to die for. Musically as well as [insert appropriate word for dance-ily], they really had your eyes glued to the stage. Another thing I really liked was the way Act III ended. That was just

But despite loving the experience, there were things that surprised me (good and bad) and also kinda disappointed me. And they haven’t left my mind since.

Firstly, I barely heard the main swan lake theme in the show. I thought it to be strange initially because the theme is just so beautiful and powerful, but then I realised my reaction is probably because of years of Hollywood conditioning. The movies we see use themes way too often, and we’ve gotten immune to it. And so when I heard it so infrequently, I was a bit confused. But also this thought-out choice of playing the theme at the current rate allows you to really enrich certain scenes and moments in the ballet so I guess that does work too.

Ugh, Hollywood.

Secondly, I couldn’t hear any obvious themes for the bad guys. Which again caught my attention very quickly. Of course the Odile and Von Rothbart were given centre stage during the bars the Swan Lake theme is repeated with different intruments and at a louder volume, but it wasn’t exclusive to them. But then again, this can be attribute to years of Hollywood conditioning.

I didn’t like the costumes and set much. I liked the costumes of the swans and lake, but that was it. No other costumes felt right. They were either too loud or tacky, or didn’t go with the overall aesthetic/palette of the show. The backdrop is painted/printed – which was cool. The old school was sometimes is the best way. And I’ll admit, they were drawn and painted beautifully, but the ones for the palace just didn’t seem to fit. And the lights never changed. Not in colour or intensity or direction. Just the once at the end of the Act III.

Lastly, the Indian management company – I really appreciate what you guys are doing but there’s no finesse in your work. But there were so many small, small things that weren’t up to the mark. The brochure y’all distributed – the english wasn’t as good as it should have been. And the video the was being played – I’m sorry – but next time please hire someone better. Your mission seems incredibly note-worthy but when you’re handling a production like Swan Lake – you really need to have these basic things figured out.

This post seems so negative I know for something so beautiful, and believe me – I loved the show. It was magical and painful, with love and hate, and so full of passion. All of my favourite things. (Except pain ofc) I really won’t forget this because it was such a wonderful experience. I’m really grateful that I went for the show.

– lige <3\

*featured image taken from weheartit

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