In Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky took up the legend of the immaculate bird to create some of the most beautiful music ever written for ballet.
The choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov left their distinguished mark on this story of an impossible love between an earthly prince and a bird‑princess, refashioning the myth of the swan‑dancer, the ultimate ballerina. When creating his version for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1984, Rudolf Nureyev chose to give it a Freudian dimension, illuminating Tchaikovsky’s poetic dream through a sense of profound hopelessness.
Ballet in four acts
Music / Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Libretto / Vladimir Begichev, Vassili Geltser
Choreography / Rudolf Nureyev
After Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov
Sets / Ezio Frigerio
Costumes / Franca Squarciapino
Lighting design / Vinicio Cheli
Paris Opera Orchestra
Conductor / Valery Ovsyanikov
Presented by Aurélie Dupont Director of Dance at the Paris Opera
Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet