SWAN LAKE by Margot *Fonteyn
Kirkus Star


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A magnificently illustrated version of the story, with a penetrating final note on its history and character as a ballet. To break an enchantment on Odette, his One True Love, Prince Siegfried must pledge Undying Faith; tricked by an evil magician, he pledges it to Odile, the wrong woman. When he discovers his mistake, he and Odette plunge to their deaths in the cold lake waters, thus destroying the spell and the magician too. Fonteyn's calm, clear retelling retains the ballet's structure but--more than just a long program note--fleshes out both the plot and the feeling behind the story's twists and turns. Hyman gives the characters sumptuous balletic costume in her wonderfully atmospheric paintings, capturing the look and elegance of a staged performance that plays in complex ways against a shadowed, Teutonic background. The magician and Odile are particularly hideous, threatening figures, scary enough to startle the most jaded moviegoer. Donna Diamond's illustrations for a 1980 edition of the story are more mannered and ethereal, but less romantic. A moving, well-told tale--and a splendid introduction to the ballet.

ISBN: 15-200600-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
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