A cruel story of love expressed through an art which dominates every aspect of its exponents’ lives, Fabrizio Monteverde’s Swan Lake offers a characteristically original approach to both choreography and production.
The original classical masterpiece, set to the music of P. I. Čajkovskij, is perhaps the most famous of the entire classical repertoire, a perfect synthesis of academic choreography and romantic reverie, formal clarity and provocative psychoanalytical symbolism. Swan Lake is a fairytale without a happy ending in which two lovers, Siegfried and Odette, pay for their passion with their lives: one of the kind of heartrending love stories which Anton Čechov describes in The Swan Song of 1887. Making clear reference to the old actor of the Russian writer’s one act play, Monteverde’s new Swan Lake explores the drama, illusions and memories of a group of ageing dancers as they wrestle with the problems of their fading youth in a neurotic search for a happy ending.
Steeped in memories of the many roles they have danced in their long artistic lives, the years they have dedicated to an art which has dominated the existence of all those in the company, the tired dancers of an imaginary corps de ballet cling to a last performance of Swan Lake in an extreme attempt to postpone the end of their careers.
Unaware of the way in which their individuality is imprisoned by the repeated co-actions of the dance and unable to accept the reality outside their roles, the dancers act out the story of an infinite Swan Lake, continually repeating the gestures of the ballet in order to avoid the end of an interminable performance.
Odette/Odile, a woman condemned to metamorphose forever between her human and swan-like forms, a continuous alternation between good and evil, kindness and cruelty, faithful lover and mocking rival, is a metaphor for an art which has no point of arrival. Searching for her soul in a tormented journey of love, betrayal, imprisonment and liberation, in a theatre in which nothing ever comes to an end, Monteverde’s protagonist contrasts the worn out rags of the life of an ageing artist with the purity of spirit of an eternally youthful Venus.
Direction and choreography
Emanuele De Maria
costumes made by
Opificio della Moda e del Costume
masks made by
Crea FX special effects
90 minutes including interval