title: 'Swan Lake Reloaded ballet drugs prostitutes Fredrick Rydman' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:
- Politics tag:
- Swan Lake
- Ballet dancer 'Post Type':
Swan Lake is the queen of ballets. Now itís being given a modern treatment in Swan Lake Reloaded at the Coliseum. VoRís Alice Lagnado reports. Set to one of Tchaikovskyís finest scores, Swan Lakeis performed dozens of times each year by companies in Russia, the UK, France, the USA Ė in fact, almost anywhere where ballet finds an audience. And sometimes itís given a very modern treatment Ė with varying degrees of success. Londonís Coliseum Theatre is now staging Fredrik Rydmanís Swan Lake Reloaded, a decidedly edgy version of the classical tale. With swans as prostitutes and the evil wizard Rothbart as a drug dealer, this is not a version of Swan Lakefor those yearning for 19th-century sets and pretty costumes. Swan Lake Reloaded is set to a pulsating score of Swedish and international rock and pop music and includes dazzling effects and street dance. Fredrik Rydman is the choreographer, and VoRís Alice Lagnado asked him why he wanted to transport the swans into the future. Photo: Swedenís Fredrik Ryman, the choreographer of Swan Lake Reloaded, is bringing the production to London after sellout premieres in Stockholm, Berlin, Munich, Vienna and more (Swan Lake Reloaded) ďI got the idea that the swans would be prostitutes, and Rothbart, the magician, would be the pimp, or drug dealer. Their relationship suits it really well, because in the original story you don't really know why Rothbart is turning them into swans. Here, it made sense, because he wants to gain power, like all these people do, so it gives Rothbart a better drive in the dramatic sense.Ē But for Rydman, itís the dramatic and original Tchaikovsky score that got him into Swan Lake. ďSwan Lakeís always going to be popular, in different ways, and there are always going to be people with their [particular] take on it. Itís such a classic, and I think it mostly has to do with the music. The funny thing for me is that I actually danced in the Swedish choreographer Mats Ekís Swan Lake, and thatís the first time when I actually fell in love with the music. I think in the back of my head itís always been there, that I wanted to create something with hip hop and street dance to this music. It fits really well Ė it might sound weird, but itís great music to dance street dance to.Ē Photo: Swan Lake Reloaded Graham Watts is a dance writer. Alice Lagnado asked him whether he believed it was OK to tamper with the much-loved version of the ballet. ďI think the first thing to say is: what is it that youíre preserving? The very first performance of Swan Lake on a stage was in 1877, and no one really knows any longer what was danced on that stage. Obviously we have an idea of the score, but even the score was re-imagined by [Riccardo] Drigo after Tchaikovskyís death. So nobodyís quite sure what actually was the first Swan Lake.Ē So it seems all Swan Lakesare re-imaginings of the original to some extent. Photo: Swan Lake Reloaded The Bolshoi ballet is currently in London with its Swan Lake. Although it doesnít feature hip hop, the production is controversial It was choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, who was artistic director at the theatre for over 30 years. His version was not liked by London critics, partly due to its ending. The ballet usually ends either tragically or has a happy ending, but Grigorovich leaves Prince Siegfried on stage alone at the end, which seems to hint that the whole story was Siegfriedís dream. Graham Watts again: ďWhen I saw it the first time Ė when it first came to London Ė I thought it was interesting, because what Grigorovich was doing was to put a kind of psychological overlay on it, and it was a new interpretation, but actually now that Iíve seen it again and again, that initial fascination has paled, and Iíd really rather not seen it again. The ending is almost like the moment in Dallas when Bobby Ewing comes out of the shower. You decide that everything that went before hasnít really happened. Itís almost at that sort of level.Ē Perhaps one of the most successful stagings of Swan Lakewas the Matthew Bourne version - which is probably the version most people in Britain now know, rather than the classical ballet production. Photo: Swan Lake Reloaded But Graham Watts is also looking forward to the new Swedish Swan Lake. ďIím really looking forward to seeing it because I see no reason whatsoever why you canít reimagine Swan Lake in different dance forms, which is in a sense what Bourne did, and this is taking the concept into the most popular form of modern dance, because I donít think thereís any doubt that the urban street hip-hop forms of dance are really taking hold now, [and are] hugely important amongst young people. And I think itís good to have an iconic story which most people, I think, recognise now, in one way or another, being interpreted in that way. Iím really looking forward to it.Ē Swan Lake Reloadedwill travel to Moscow and St Petersburg this autumn. And perhaps thatís the real test: whether the more traditional dance audiences in Russia will enjoy the production, or retreat quietly to the Bolshoi for the comfort of princesses and swans, castles and misty lakes...