REVIEW: Swan Lake, St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, London Coliseum

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s beautiful classical production really captures the fairytale element of the story – even if the ending lacks emotion and power. 

Irena Kolesnikova. Photo Credit - Vladimir Zenzinov
(c) Vladimir Zenzinov. 

What a beautiful, luxurious and classic production of Swan Lake this is. Every element of this production is handled with a great lightness of touch that really highlights the tenderness and fairy tale elements of the story to great effect – but towards the end this lightness can mean that the climatic scene can feel slightly emotionless and lacking in impact.

But throughout, the talented members of the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre show great discipline (just look at the way the swans pose along the side of the stage while Odette and Prince Siegfried dance for example) and elegance as they dance their way across the stage.

In particular, Irina Kolesnikova as the charming Odette caught under an enchantment, captures the swan like elegance of the character with ease. Her precision in terms of her movements are spectacular and convey the conflicting emotions of her character perfectly. Denis Rodkin as Prince Siegfried has plenty of charm but can at times lack in emotional engagement with his Odette, yet there is no denying his confidence in his performance that is reflected in the strength of his dancing.

But it is Sergei Fedorkov as the Jester who particularly delights the audience with his performance. The way in which he dances is a delight to watch and completely mesmerising as he leaps and spins with such accuracy, you would think he was an acrobat in another life. His liveliness shines through his performance, which then reflects on to the audience, adding a playfulness to the production.

Elsewhere, conductor Vadim Nikitin and the orchestra of the English National Opera offer a rich and  even at times spine tingling interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s glorious score that successfully draws the audience further into the world in which Swan Lake is set.

After the show, there was some questions about the way in which the story ended happily, when many recognise Swan Lake as having a tragic ending. But in fact there are  different versions of the way in which it could end and while I’m not disappointed it ended happily – I do wish there had been a much stronger emotional connection between the characters at the end to celebrate this.

But despite the slight disappointment in the way in which the ending was handled, this is still a beautifully enchanting production to watch. For those who have never seen Swan Lake before – make this production your first.

By Emma Clarendon

Swan Lake continues to play at the London Coliseum until the 2nd September. To book tickets click here  or visit:, Theatre Tickets, Encore Tickets, From the Box Office or See Tickets

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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