Ballet Theatre UK bring Swan Lake to Rhodes
Ballet Theatre UK will be performing the timeless spectacle Swan Lake at Rhodes Arts Complex on Sunday, April 14.
Swan Lake portrays the tale of the beautiful Princess Odette, bewitched by wicked sorcerer Von Rothbart, who captures her and transforms her into a swan. Odette returns to her human form at night and Von Rothbart’s spell on her can only be broken if a young man pledges his love for her. If he should betray her, she will remain a swan forever.
Set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score with choreography by Christopher Moore, Ballet Theatre UK’s artistic director, this romantic fable is one of ill-fated passion, dreamlike transformation and, ultimately, the battle between love and evil.
The dance was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow on March 4, 1877 and over the decades it has become one of the most enduring, moving and classical ballets of all time; it is iconic - the show contains one of the greatest pas de deux - a duet between a male and female dancer - in all of ballet.
Ballet Theatre UK - the company that brought Beauty and the Beast to Rhodes last October - aims to bring the most magical and captivating moments of classical ballet to audiences of all ages.
The nature of their productions helps to make ballet accessible and affordable to all. This beautiful production is not only for those already fans of dance, but also for those experiencing dance for the first time.
Christopher Moore, founder of the company, said: “Ballet Theatre UK is a ballet company that aims to provide the highest quality of classical dance to regional venues throughout the UK. We have created 14 full length ballets over the past decade. This included the classics such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as original ballets like The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
“Throughout my dance career, I noticed a gap in the industry for high-quality ballet in theatres unable to host the larger companies such as the Royal Ballet, therefore wanted to deliver a production with the same standard adapted to suit the variety of theatres in the UK who would otherwise receive the classical art form.”
Critics have described Ballet Theatre UK as ‘innovative’ and Christopher explained why his company has attained this commendation. “I’ve taken traditional ballets, which to some people have become museum pieces, bringing them up-to-date for the modern audience and engaging our audiences with a passion and energy that I hope is inspiring. The dancers bring much to the company making me able to create choreography which best shows their techniques.”
Four principal dancers will lead the company - Erin Flaherty plays the title role of Odette, Ben Crossley-Pritchard is Prince Siegfried, Ester Cameron dances the part of Odile, the black swan, and Jake Davies stars as the villain, Rothbart.
“We are lucky enough to have several leading dancers within the company from many established companies from around the world,” Christopher said.
The dancers work tirelessly to reherse for the show. “We rehearse for six weeks intensively to create each new ballet,” Christopher said. “Rehearsals continue once the production is on tour to ensure the work is always presented at its best. Work continues on the nuances of the production, honing and perfecting the delivery of the show.”
While on tour, Christopher and the dancers have to constantly adapt to different theatres and stages, and they do not always have long to prepare and practice at a new venue. “We generally know what to expect at each theatre – the stage size, space in the wings etc,” he said.
“The technical team usually arrives early morning and the dancers follow during the morning. Before each show, the dancers take a warm-up class then a show run through is undertaken after the technical installation is complete. Depending on travel distances it can be only a few hours to install the show and be ready to perform.”
Christoper hopes that his production of Swan Lake will entice ballet novices to Rhodes on April 14. “I had a retired gentleman approach me after one of our shows who said that he had never been to a ballet before and was so pleased he had now done so, having enjoyed it immensely,” Christopher said.
“I think it should be considered as one of life’s experiences; you’ll never know until you try it. A live show with a high visual content and rousing music will always set the heart beating faster! Swan Lake is a perfect introduction as it is such a well-known story yet the complex choreography challenges the seasoned classical ballet fan.”
*Tickets to Swan Lake at Rhodes, are available now. Tickets cost £11.50 for under 16s, £15.50 for over 60s and £17.50 for all other ages. To book yours, visit the website or call 01279 710 200.