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Dutch National Ballet - Swan Lake, 2019


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I saw Swan Lake on Sunday in Amsterdam. 

 

Odette/Odile - Maia Makhateli

Siegfried - Daniel Camargo

Rothbart - Jared Wright

Alexander (Benno) - Semyon Velichko


This Swan Lake was choreographed by Rudi Van Dantzig, after Petipa and Ivanov, and was beautifully staged with a lovely set and colourful costumes which enhanced the lovely peasant dances and the pas de trois of Act 1.  There were also young dancers from the Ballet School in Act 1 which were very nice, but did make the stage seem rather crowded at times.  I was looking out for, and pleased to see, Daniel Silva as one of the noblemen as he is known to a friend of mine and I must say he has a lovely line and an elegance to his dancing especially his hands and finishing of movements.  The pas de trois was danced by Siegfried's friend Alexander (Semyon Velichko) with Daniel Camargo as Siegfried helping out in places.  The 2 ladies were Yauanyaun Zhang and Aya Okumura who is actually to join Berlin next season. 

 

In this Swan Lake Odette represents Siegfried's high ideals and I was thrilled when I read Maia Makhateli was to dance the role of Odette/Odile in this performance as she is one of my favourite dancers.  Maia did not disappoint and performed the role with great confidence and the right amount of empathy with Odette, as well as beautiful lines and arms.  Maia is well partnered with Daniel Camargo  and I have seen them dance together several times now.  The swans all performed well with nice straight lines for the most part - and the 4 cygnets were great - I was pleased to see Riho Sakamoto in this piece.  The 2 big swans were danced by Vera Tsyganova and Maria Chugai. 

 

 

On to Act 3 which was somewhat extended compared to most other Swan Lakes I have seen.  Whilst it was colourful and well danced I found myself getting a little, dare I say it, bored?! The start of the Act features 6 princesses as would be brides for Siegfried, one of whom plays shy - yes it was funny, but was it really appropriate here hmm I'm not sure.  I felt the drama that usually attaches to the entrance of Odile was lost a bit because of the over long pas de six.  Odile seemed to arrive on stage quite well into the Act and I would have preferred to see her  earlier and dance a bit more as a tease to Siegfried.  The usual national dances were done - Spanish, Neapolitan and Hungarian  Czardas, but the whole Act was somewhat dominated as I say by that overlong Pas de Six.  It was nice to see Martin ten Kortenaar in the pd6 along with Floor Eimers and Timothy van Poucke who won the Alexandra Radius Prize this season.   However when it finally, finally, came to the fouette section Maia Makhateli blew me away with her amazing, rock solid, tight fouettes, doubles mostly, and she must have whipped off close to 40 ending with huge applause from the audience.  Then Camargo followed with his set of turns as well equally applause worthy and then he was finally betrayed - you could feel his shock and sorrow as Odile laughed in his face and dashed off stage with her Father.  

The final Act was beautifully danced by the corps de ballet swans in their various formations which were well executed.  Siegfried meets Odette who forgives him.  However he drowns despite defying Rothbart and Alexander finds Siegfried dead on the shore of the lake.  Alexander carries Siegfried to the front of the stage and the curtains closed.....

 

The orchestra were wonderful and conducted by Boris Gruzin.

 

At 3.5 hours long this has to be the longest Swan Lake I have ever seen.  That was certainly good value for money!  It was worth the day trip to Amsterdam although that turned out to be a longer stay thanks to airline problems and I did not get home until the next day via London and trains up to Manchester Airport!!

 

Some photos from the curtain call are below.

 

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Maia Makhateli and Daniel Camargo

 

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Boris Gruzin/Maia Makhateli/Daniel Camargo

 

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Ensemble of Swan Lake

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Some of the Swans at the curtain call - front centre is Riho Sakamoto.

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