Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

SWANLAKE without inspiration in Paris


Émilie Cozette and Karl Paquette in Swan Lake at Opera de Paris. Foto: Anne Deniau

Émilie Cozette and Karl Paquette in Swan Lake at Opera de Paris. Foto: Anne Deniau

The Paris Opera Ballet is again presenting their Swan Lake in the choreography by Rudolf Noureev to Peter Tsjaikovskijs beautiful music, very well played by the Orchestre Colonne conducted by the young conductor Simon Hewett. It sound well, and there are some really good soloplayers in the orchestra, trumpet, violin, bratch, harpe, english horn. Great.

The balletcompani is doing their job, some of the dances in the third act are very good, The opening of the fourth act, – the last of the two white acts are good, but unfortunately as a total the production seems uninspired. And for me that is doe to some facts.

The decoration – the scenography by Ezio Frigerio is wrong. I didn´t find my self and my feeling of attending the real fairytale of the Swan Lake in this production. The lake is in this production placed inside the walls of something, which could be the walls of a Royal Palace, and it dont move out of these grey boring walls at all. The back of these walls on top of some steps or a wide staircase is showing us a lake looking like inspired from Monet lake by his home. But not a Swan Lake.

The lighting by Vinicio Cheli is bad, and it is not helping to give any atmosphaere to the performance. However. The costumes by Franca Squarciapino are good. If she has got help from the light designer to letting her delicious colours getting a touch of the same colour in the lighting it would have been great. But unfortunately that cooperation didn´t work.

Emilie Cozette and Karl Paquette in Swan Lake, Paris.

Emilie Cozette and Karl Paquette in Swan Lake, Paris.

In the third act all the dancers, not dancing, are just staying as a mixed group in the left side of the stage waiting for therir turn to dance their good national dances, which are well presented, and the best in the whole performanec. Further more, to place the Queen and the Prince nearly at the back of the stage does that they are hidden away, not are in the focus, and in fact it is a history about the Prince and the Swan. After all the national dances, during the applausake reverence towards the royalities, which will then do that they are making reverence partly with the back to the audience. This could have been done much better.

Letting the teacher and Rotbart being the same person, was a new idea, which could have been successfully, and in fact the only solo that Rothbart has got put in for him in the third act, was brilliantly danced by Stéphane Phavorin, nearly the only hit in theperformance. But before and after that he is totaly disturbing the Grand Pas de deux between the beautiful Émile Cozette as Odette/Odile and Karl Paquette by his clumpsy behavior on stage, where he constantly is falling in his too long and to difficult coat.

Émilie Cozette in Swan Lake at Opera de Paris. Foto: Anne Deniau

Émilie Cozette in Swan Lake at Opera de Paris. Foto: Anne Deniau

In other productions I have seen Émile Cozette and Karl Paquette doing much better jobs. I was missing the feeling of that the swans and Odette Odile were swans, as they didn´t have swan arms, the only time i had afeeling of that Odette/Odile was a swan was in the very last moment, when she is beeing taken away from the Prince, when her legs was moving like a dying swan. But els, it was nice girls dressed in white tutu´s but they could have been in the white act in La Bayadere or the snow flakes in Nutcracker. They didn´t give the audience the feeling of the they were swans.

It is now the time for the Paris Opera to renew their production of the Swan Lake. Look to the wonderful productions they right now are presenting in Vilnius with The Lithuanian National Ballet and the one in Oslo with The Norwegian National Ballet. Make a cooproduction with them, and make a new Swan Lake in Paris. Then the large audience, filling up the Bastille Opera for all their Swan Lakes and nearly all other productions will also feel amazed, an going home and telling teir friends abouyt how wonderful it was. This production is not good.

Fotos: Anne Deniau

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