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Moscow's Natalia Satz Theater, a ballet and opera theater for children, is bringing its production of the Tchaikovsky classic Swan Lake to Israel. The ballet has been reduced to two acts without an intermission, which makes the show more enjoyable for a young audience.
Swan Lake, one of the most frequently performed classical ballets, premiered exactly 125 years ago. "We see our new production as a jubilee one," says Vladimir Kirillov, the ballet company's choreographer and artistic director, speaking by phone from his Moscow home. "We've left some parts of the ballet untouched: for example, the famous 'White' second act, choreographed by Ivanov. This is the true heritage of the Russian ballet, and nobody in the world has ever dared to change a thing there."
Kirillov, a dancer with 30 years of Moscow-based solo experience, explains that there are quite a few dances which are not connected to one another in Swan Lake's first and third acts. "In our opinion, they are lacking a unifying line or any content, so we decided to change some of the ballet's dramatic elements. For example, we see all the dances of the third act as a ball for the evil forces," which lead the prince to betray his love.
The choreographer says that his major objective for the new version of Swan Lake was to make the show more dynamic. "This isn't an action thriller, but something has to happen constantly on stage - otherwise, it's difficult to keep our young spectators' attention," he says.
The theater was inaugurated 40 years ago by Natalia Satz, who in addition to being very active on the Russian cultural stage created several children's theatres. She also encouraged Sergei Prokofiev to compose his Peter and the Wolf musical tale, which remains known for its special appeal for children. The theater's other current pieces, include Cinderella, The Nutcracker and The Blue Bird.
Swan Lake, with Natalia Ledovskaya and Michail Pukhov in the lead roles, will be staged at the Ashkelon Cultural Hall December 18, at Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUma Dec. 19, and at the Be'er Sheva Cultural Hall Dec. 20. The piece will also be performed at the Netanya Cultural Hall on Dec. 21, at Tel Aviv's Cultural Hall Dec. 22, at the Carmiel Cultural Hall Dec. 23, and at the Haifa Auditorium December 24.