An audience favorite, this ballet is about love at first sight snatched away by sorcery.
In her third title illustrating full-length New York City Ballet productions, Docampo re-creates the ethereal setting of the classic tale of a princess turned into a swan and a prince tricked into declaring his love for an imposter. She previously worked on The Nutcracker (2016), that all-time Christmas favorite, and The Sleeping Beauty (2017), an adaptation of a favorite fairy tale. Swan Lake is a staple of many ballet companies and is danced with many different stagings that mix the original Russian choreography and current adaptations. In this production, Prince Siegfried, Odette/Odile, and the wicked mage von Rothbart follow the typical storyline of love and betrayal, ending so very tragically. Ballet is of course a live performance art, and conveying solos and corps movement on a printed page is a challenge. The digital illustrations do convey the impossibly ethereal dancers’ emotions, and the large-scale corps movements are strikingly set against a midnight blue stage. Some of the dancers are people of color—as in the New York City Ballet today. The backmatter provides "Fun Facts" and a brief history of the ballet.
A good introduction to one version of the classic ballet, one that caregivers taking children to the theater will appreciate. (Picture book. 4-8)