Last month I saw the English National Ballet's Swan Lake in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall, which was one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen on stage. Swan Lake is my favourite ballet - I've seen it several times and this was my favourite performance yet.
Derek Deane’s critically-acclaimed production premiered in 1997 and has captivated audiences worldwide since. It was my first time seeing a ballet in-the-round and I liked the democratic seating - there isn't a bad seat in the house as everyone can see the 360° action - and large scale staging by Peter Farmer. The hall is transformed into a lake and filled with blue lighting, white tulle tutus and dozens of twirling swans. The ENB Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, played Tchaikovsky's score beautifully and even though it was a warm summer's night I was covered in goosebumps. Under Tamara Rojo’s direction, the iconic love story is brought to life with Alina Cojocaru in the role of Swan Queen Odette/Odile and the fantastic Osiel Gouneo as Prince Siegfried. 120 dancers, 60 swans, 5,000 in the audience for 12 nights: 5 stars. The sheer spectacle will entertain both seasoned ballet-goers and first-timers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The English National Ballet 2016/17 season starts in September | See more culture posts & London features