Swan Lake by Dutch National Ballet in Blog

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The simplest things are often the most beautiful. An Italian pasta with only three ingredients; a Mondriaan painting; a little black dress…

Rudi van Dantzig, with his choreography of Swan Lake by the Dutch National Ballet, could not have portrayed the essence of the art of simplicity more beautifully.

Swan Lake tells the story of Prince Siegfried, who soon has to choose a bride. One night, after his surprise birthday party at the castle, he goes to the forest, where he sees a swan appear out of a dark lake, which takes on the human form.


Principal Igone de Jongh (The Netherlands) as Odette, the Swan Queen

The simplest things are often the most difficult to make. Just try to impress an Italian grandmother with a basic pasta…

The elaborate décor and colourful costumes of the guests of the party at the castle are beautiful. But the pristine white tutus against the backdrop of a lake are simply breathtaking. Did you know that in each tutu goes an incredible amount of work and 40 to 60 metres of tulle?

In Odette, the Swan Queen, and her retinue of swan maidens, Siegfried believes he has found the realisation of his ideal of sincerity and simplicity. Surrounded by these pure shapes he is overcome with joy. He swears to remain forever true to his ideals.


Principals Igone de Jongh (The Netherlands) as Odette, the Swan Queen, and Vito Mazzeo (Italy) as Prince Siegfried, surrounded by the swan maidens

The simplest things are often the most detailed and perfectioned. Just think of the precision in Mondriaan’s paintings…

The clear and precise dance of the swans is almost geometric and inhuman. The National Ballet’s dancers have endlessly practiced each detail to achieve this result, and after the opening night on 14 September 2014, they are still refining their moves every day.

Later, during a ball at the castle, Prince Siegfried gets tricked by an evil man’s daughter, the Black Swan, who he believes is Odette. He offers her the ring, but then realises he has betrayed his ideal, Odette. Unfortunately it is already too late…


Principals Igone de Jongh (The Netherlands) as the Black Swan, Odile, and Vito Mazzeo (Italy) as Prince Siegfried

Take your true love on a real night out in Amsterdam before it is too late: Dutch National Ballet will perform Swan Lake in September and November 2014 and in March 2015. Have a quick meal at one of gloobles’ Amsterdam restaurants before the show. And during the breaks, take your drinks to the balcony and enjoy the wonderful view of the Amstel. For the ladies: this is the ideal night to wear your little black (or white?) dress…


The swans with front left Michaela DePrince (Sierra Leone), who joined the junior company of Dutch National Ballet in 2013

Photography by Dutch National Opera & Ballet