My most favorite ballet performance, Swan Lake
- By Dashmaa D -
- May 30,2023
I watched for the first time the Swan Lake ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky at the State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (SATOB). Every time I go to the SATOB, there’s a unique feeling, so I like to go there before the performance and feel the excitement and anticipation. When I arrived, everyone looked elegant as ever. I could see couples, families, and foreigners who came to experience Mongolian art. So for a large cultural institution with a punctual reputation, the ballet exactly started at 5:00 p.m.
Swan Lake was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s first score for ballet. Its 1877 premiere was poorly received, but it has since become one of the most loved of all ballets. The twinned role of the radiant White Swan and the scheming, duplicitous Black Swan tests the full range of a ballerina’s powers, particularly in the two great pas de deux of Acts II and III. Other highlights include the charming Dance of the Little Swans performed by a moonlit lake and sweeping ballroom waltzes in the splendor of the royal palace. Anthony Dowell’s glorious interpretation uses classical choreography created by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa for the ballet’s revised 1895 version. Dramatic costumes emphasize the contrast between human and spirit worlds, while glowing lanterns, shimmering fabrics and designs inspired by the work of Peter Carl Fabergé create a magical setting.
A two-hour ballet is made up of thousand tiny moments. The smallest thing like the lift of an eyeline, or the uncurling of a finger can be making magic, and across those hours there will be fantastic moments and uninspiring ones. And yet sometimes what it all adds up to is, you know, perfectly OK. This ballet is incredible. It became my absolute favorite of all time. Something that doesn’t get enough recognition, however, is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s fantastic score for this ballet. The music is depressing, elegant, intense, magical, and seductive when it needs to be. Credit should also go to the talented orchestra and conductor, as they are just as important and needed as everyone else involved.
The crew as a whole is very good. D.Sodbayar brings the drama as sorcerer Rothbart. In the ensemble, Precious Adams shows poise and a lovely weight to her port de bras. There is a flock of well-schooled swans, and there are standout solos in act one Pas de Trois, especially from A.Erdendebold as Siegfried, whose long legs launch him skyward, every jump and turn perfectly finished. Then there is bright and sparky M.Nandintsetseg as Odette, hopping on her points with a light touch and fluttering beats, a young dancer to keep an eye on.
How beautiful is this performance to watch. This Pas De Deux c'est magnifique, such fluid movement between the beautiful ballerina who danced as the black swan, Odile, and Rothbart, the enchanter, is simply magical and well performed. Fluid, excellent movement and beautiful poise and grace, great and perfect form, this is mesmerizing to watch. Dance is such an underrated art form, and should be appreciated more.
This was my first time seeing that performance, and the two hours felt more like two minutes. This performance made me realize the greatness of ballet. I always thought that if there was a question about storytelling combined with music, then the human voice (opera) was the way to go. But that day, I was introduced to the magic of not only voice but of the body. The way music combines with the body is like the soul itself revealing its substance. The feeling of that combination is almost divine, but at the same time it is very close to human emotion, and ultimately it succeeds in expressing so elegantly the essence of love and tragedy. I don’t think any other dancing form can even attempt to compete with ballet. This type of dance captures the beauty of life and defines what makes the human experience unique!
I am so grateful to Barbie for being a children’s media that gives genuine exposure and appreciation to ballet and the classical arts. I appreciate it so much when the arts are given equal importance in children’s education, especially when they’re young. Learning to appreciate the arts as a child is so helpful in fostering creativity, empathy, and a greater appreciation for the social and cultural value of art as an expression of human nature. So, thank you to parents who let their children watch that outstanding ballet.