Review: Ratmansky‘s Reconstruction of Swan Lake – Better? Different?

Opening night at the Opera Zurich on 6. February 2016

As much as I like the performance of the Zurich Ballet, ballet lovers may be confused by the steps and dancing. In the old days, ballet had different standards as we are now used to. It was all about conveying a story – meaning a lot of acting, and less jumps and footwork. Even the most famous of arm movements were not shown. I really missed seeing these beautiful swan-like movements.

IMG_6724 (1).jpgFoto by Gegory Batardon

Ratmansky’s swans however are more like girls. Odette plays the part of a young lady who falls in love, and is shocked after her lovers betrayal. I must say, I like this performance a lot – stunning setting, awesome costumes, great pantomime, brilliant principal dancers, perfect corps de ballet, however I still prefer the quality of dance that we have today.

My recommendation ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Watch Ratmansky‘s Swan Lake: Tranfer yourself to 1895 and enjoy this original version as it was in that old days.

Watch Interview with Alex Ratmansky about his SWAN LAKE

Read more about it

New York Times

Financial Times

More Photos

More reconstructions by Alexei Ratmansky

Sleeping Beauty in 2015



Author: ballettlovers

I danced ballet as child, albeit with little success. Despite this, my passion for ballet and dance has carried into adulthood. I still love to watch ballet performances and would love to share my passion with you.

One thought on “Review: Ratmansky‘s Reconstruction of Swan Lake – Better? Different?”

  1. Hello,

    I agree with you it was technically brilliant (set, costumes and dancers), however I’m not sure the difference between ballet today and in the late nineteenth century is an emphasis on story-telling : a lot of the scenes in this Swan Lake are set-pieces which don’t “tell” anything (the whole first 30 minutes for instance), while Petipa & Ivanov are quite heavy-handed in the pantomime. Compare it to Christian Spuck’s Woyzeck, which tells a much more complex story much better in an otherwise very nice performance.

    I would say Ratmansky’s trip to the past rather reveals how dancing evolved since Petipa : yes, today’s ballet don’t have as splendid sets or costumes, but the dancing itself and the artistic aspect have evolved for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

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