Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - Page 12 News List

A swan princess for the 21st century

Chamber Ballet Taipei’s updated version of ‘Swan Lake’ made for a satisfying night out

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

As von Rothbart’s scheming daughter Odile in Act III, Dijmaru was sharp and flashy in the black swan pas de duex. She nailed the requisite thirty-two fouettes by turning several of them into doubles — an impressive feat — in her solo. Stoica performed his variation with flair.

Yu’s most interesting tweak to the Swan Lake canon came in the Act IV battle between Siegfried and Von Rothbart. As in the Russian tradition, Yu’s sorcerer has wings that could be torn off by Siegfried, thereby weakening his power. However, Von Rothbart calls forth the lake waters (long wide ribbons of white and lots of smoke) and tosses Siegfried into them.

The ballet may be set in the Middle Ages, but Yu’s Odette is a 21st-century swan princess. She is not going to cower, or kill herself. She tries to intervene between the two men as they fight and, when Siegfried is drowning, she enters the lake and drags him to the shore. Siegfried then tackles Von Rothbart and kills him with a stab to the neck. Von Rothbart’s death breaks his spell over the swan maidens, leaving Siegfried and Odette to live happily ever — and the audience thoroughly satisfied with the denouement.

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