Front cover of the Swan Lake Programme for performance at His Majesty’s Theatre
On Saturday 3rd August 2013, I was fortunate enough to see the Matinee ( 2pm ) performance of the St Petersburg Ballet’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic “Swan Lake”.
Swan Lake is the world’s most loved ballet and the St Petersburg Ballet is one of the world’s finest ballet companies. First performed in 1895, Swan Lake with its unrivalled “white acts”, its spectacular and dramatic Ballroom scene, sublime music and deeply moving story, is the ballet that towers above all others.
The St Petersburg Ballet has returned to Perth, Western Australia, for the first time in nearly a decade for seven performances only, at the wonderful old “His Majesty’s Theatre” in the Perth CBD.
These performances are presented by Theatre Tours Australia.
Show dates and times at His Majesty’s Theatre:
Wednesday, 31 July, 2013 – 7:30PM
Thursday, 01 August, 2013 – 2:00PM and 7:30PM
Friday, 02 August, 2013 – 7:30PM
Saturday, 03 August, 2013 – 2:00PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, 04 August, 2013 – 1:00PM and 6:00PM
Tuesday, 06 August, 2013 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, 07 August, 2013 – 7:30PM
Thursday, 08 August, 2013 – 7:30PM
Friday, 09 August, 2013 – 7:30PM
Saturday, 10 August, 2013 – 2:00PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, 11 August, 2013 – 1:00PM
Ticket range: $49 – $129
The Ballet was performed at HMT to recorded music. One of my favourite parts is definitely the scene above of the 4 “little swans” joining hands and doing a Ballet movement of which I don’t have a clue what its name is, but anyhow I LOVE that section of the music and the Dance Movement accompanying it. The photo above is from a performance in South China in January 2013 and more gorgeous photos from that performance can be found at this page below.
I had a great seat in the 8th row from the front, right in the middle of the row, and amazingly my luck was in as the two seats directly in front of me were empty throughout the performance. As the rest of the seats were occupied I can only think that something unexpected had happened to preclude the two ticket holders in front of me from attending such a spectacular performance. Perhaps something unlucky happened to them, so I should not be saying it was lucky for me, but it did help me with an unobstructed view, as while the seats are staggered, the incline they are set at is not great. This means that big heads or tall people in front of one can definitely obstruct part of one’s view of the Stage!
HMT opened on Christmas Eve in 1904, and has become one of Western Australia’s most-loved heritage icons, and is affectionately known as “the Maj”. A stunning example of Edwardian era architecture, the building is the design masterpiece of architect William Wolfe and contractor Gustav Liebe. His Majesty’s Theatre was named after the reigning British monarch of 1904, King Edward VII. It is believed to be the only remaining working Edwardian theatre in Australia, and is one of only two remaining His Majesty’s Theatres in the world. The other one is in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Getting back to the performance, there were 3 Acts (contrary to the HMT site stating there are 4 Acts) with 4 scenes, and there were 2 intermissions, one of 20 minutes and the second of 15 minutes. I LOVED this performance, it was something unforgettable, and the music and dance has lingered with me, and will continue to do so. I thought the dancers and scenes were gorgeous and the lead or principal dancers – male and female – a sight to behold. I have never done Ballet myself (although I did aspire to be a Ballerina when I was younger, haha), and thought the dance was just awesome.
I fell in love with the dancer whom played the Jester, and I closely peered at the faces of as many of the ballerinas as I could, to tell the difference between them, including Irina Kolesnikova, whom played Odette or Odile. Some of the Ballet de Corps ballerinas looked like sisters or maybe twins to me, they were that alike. Irina Kolesnikova was astounding as one of the lead ballerinas, and the Programme states that she initially aspired to be a Doctor but instead went into Ballet. Irina says that the “down things” about her Vocation are a lack of a “home Life” and the constant pain. Ouch, I would not be happy at all with that aspect. These are brave and talented people, and as Irina says, the dancers must be fit 100 percent of the time. Certainly not a life for me. I tried to imagine my pirouetting like a ballerina while I watched, but could only see me losing my balance and toppling over.
I bought a Programme at HMT for $20 and used my Scanner to try to scan the front cover, which is pretty large, so the picture above is my best effort. Also, I managed to scan a page from inside the Programme, showing the names of the dancers. This is followed by 2 other spectacular photos from the News.
The Scenes and the “arrangements” or “positions” or whatever you call them in Ballet, were just spectacular and breath-taking, including the “Swans” lining up on either side of the stage holding their poses while a Ballerina danced in the centre. The opening of the final Scene after the 2nd intermission drew gasps and applause from our audience – as it revealed the silvery lake and some “Swans” among a cloud of smoky mist. I managed to purchase a DVD ( for $20 AUD ) of Irina’s performance in this Ballet, filmed in South Africa. I scanned the front and back covers of my DVD cover. There is no date on the DVD, but my research shows the performance recorded onto DVD was held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2006. I bought my DVD from HMT.
I’m off now – to watch the DVD !!