Home > Performances > Recommend
Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Production by National Ballet of China

Producer: Zhao Ruheng

Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Production Conceived and Directed by Natalia Makarova

Choreography by Natalia Makarova

after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Additional Choreography by Natalia Makarova and Sir Frederick Ashton

Set Design by Peter Farmer

Costume Design by Galina Solovyeva

Lighting Design by Han Jiang

General Répétiteur: Olga Evreinoff

NBC General Répétiteurs: Zhu Yan, Xu Gang

Production Coordinator: Dina Makaroff

World Premiere: The Bolshoi Theatre, The Bolshoi Ballet, March 4th, 1877

NBC Premiere: Beijing Tianqiao Theater, June 30th, 1958

Natalia Makarova's Version NBC Premiere: Apr 30th, 2007, Beijing Tianqiao Theater

Synopsis of Swan Lake

Act I

It is the eve of Prince siegfried's coming of age party. His companions, ledby Benno, are preparing their own celebration for him. The Prince arrives and is soon enjoying himself with his friends. The festivities are unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of the Queen Mother. She takes her son aside, insisting the time has now come when he must assume the responsibilities of the kingdom. She presents him with the emblem that is the symbol of his kingship. As King, one of the first matters he must consider is that of his marriage. Siegfried pleads with her, but the Queen reminds him that he is obligated to choose of fiancée at the ball. His mother's words weight heavily on his soul. He is saddened that he will lose his freedom and that he has not yet met someone who would touch his heart.

As twilight sets in, the Prince remains preoccupied with his thoughts. Benno sees a flight of swans and urges Siegfried to go hunting in hope that the diversion will dispel his melancholic mood. Siegfried goes off into the woods and Benno follows, but their paths diverge.

Wandering alone deep in the forest, Siegfried discovers a mysterious moonlit lake. Unbeknownst to him, this is the domain of the evil Sorcerer who has cast a Spell on young maidens turning them into swans. Siegfried prepares to shoot as he sees a swan gliding across the lake. To his astonishment when the swan reaches the shore, she is suddenly transformed. Her beauty overwhelms the Prince She is Odette, Queen of the Swans who has been enchanted by the evil Sorcerer. Although frightened, Odette unburdens the story of her plight. The spell that keeps them swans by day and maidens at night can only be broken if a man who has never loved before swears eternal fidelity to her. From the first moment of their meeting, he knows that he was right to believe in the existence of a perfect love. Never before has his heart been given to anyone, but without hesitation he offers it to Odette. As dawn approaches the Sorcerer exerts his power and Odette is forced away from Siegfried's arms. Siegfried realizes his fate is now entwined with hers.


Act II

The guests are arriving for the formal ball to celebrate Prince Siegfried's coming of age. The Queen Mother enters and is disturbed to find that Siegfried is not there. Soon he arrives, but he is preoccupied by his thoughts. Three Knights present the prospective fiancées to the court. Courteously, Siegfried dances with each of them, but his heart is now pledged to Odette and despite his mother's insistence. he refuses to choose.

Suddenly an unknown Knight appears, the evil Sorcerer in disguise, accompanied by the ravishing and devious Odile. Siegfried is mesmerized by her striking resemblance to his beloved Odette. Odile enchants and beguiles him. Any doubts that Siegfried may have about Odile's identity are dispersed Siegfried becomes convinced that she is Odette and declares that he had chosen her to be his bride. The Knight intervenes demanding that Prince Siegfried swear an oath of fidelity to Odile. He willingly does so. Before the prince's eyes a vision of the inconsolable Odette appears. He realizes that he has been deceived. Triumphant, the evil Sorcerer and Odile disappear. Grief-stricken, Siegfried runs to the lakeside.



Night time, a deep sadness has descended upon the lake of swans. They are now doomed by the spell to remain swans forever. Rushing through the frightening storm, created by the evil Sorcerer, Siegfried searches for Odette to beg her forgiveness. Odette forgives him, but she knows that nothing can be changed. Death is their only salvation. The waves of the lake unite the lovers forever. The power of the evil Sorcerer is destroyed.

In a vision, Odette and Siegfried approach an ideal and eternal love.

The world is our stage. Chinese ballet is where we are!

Contact Us

  • Address:No. 3 Taiping Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
  • Postal code:100050
  • Tel:010-83553737


Copyright:The National Ballet of China

Registration Number:19002203

Copyright©2018-2020 All Rights Reserved