Swan Lake - My first Ballet

Trip Start Nov 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 27, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Saturday, March 10, 2012

I had been off work sick on Thursday & Friday, and the doctor suspected that I had a tummy bug or food poisoning to go along with my cold :( I only got up around 10.30 so didn't think I would be ready in time to meet Schotty and Guddis for lunch before the ballet, but it was all good, I guess lucky that my house is so close to the venue too!

We tried a few places for lunch and ended up at "Baton Rouge" a restaurant we had tried to get into the other night at Montreal En Lumiere but it was packed. No problems getting a seat for Saturday lunch though. I had the Caesar salad with steak and it was very nice. We finished with plenty of time at around 1.30.

The ballet started at 2 so we went to the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier where we found our seats. Not bad considering we bought them late and missed out on the weekend night shows! The ballet was performed by the National Ballet of Ukraine and was very well done. I was especially impressed with the swan queen "Odette" who is a very gifted ballerina!

The Plot - Act 1 - The Prince's estate has gathered all the local noblemen for hunting. But the guests' funs don't please Siegfried. He's attracted by the beauty and grandeur of the world. The young man longs to escape from the court fuss for sincere people with pure souls, like the nature itself. Once he can see a group of peasants, Siegfried joins them.

The Sovereign Princess appears at the celebration, accompanied by the court ladies. Astonished at Siegfried's attraction to the common people, she scolds him severely, demanding his return to the court nobility. For the Prince has to choose his bride at tomorrow's ball.

Left alone, Siegfried goes deep into thought. He loves no one yet. It's difficult for the prince to realise himself engaged to an unfamiliar girl.A flock of swans flies over Siegfried towards the secret lake. It seems to the young man that they aren't white swans but girls charmed into birds. Siegfried has an irresistible desire to visit the legendary lake and disclose its secret. He's ready to pass through any ordeals for its sake. The Prince sets off the spell-bound place.

Act II - A moonlight night. The realm of Rothbard is enveloped in a mysterious light. The evil genius is concerned with a presentiment of some obscure danger: a stranger has appeared in his realm. Doesn't he know that a harsh vengeance is waiting for everyone who has encroached upon Rothbard's power. Rothbard bends the defenceless swans down to the earth with an imperious gesture.

Siegfried appears. An extremely beautiful girl stands up before him, surrounded by her charming young girlfriends. This is Odette, the Queen of Swans. The sudden emergence of a stranger frightens the swan girls. But Siegfried's frankness inspires them with confidence: the young man has come here with a pure heart and good intentions. He raises in their hearts a hope for their rescue from the evil spell. The Queen of Swans tells a sad story: once upon a time theywere charmed into swans by the Sovereign of this lake, the evil genius Rothbard. They only turn back into girls at night near this lake.

The dreadful sorcery will act until someone falls in love with Odette, unreservedly and forever. It must be a young boy who's never vowed love to anyone yet. Siegfried's heart burns with a deep feeling of love for Odette. He vows a faithful and eternal love to the swan girl, and swears to save the girls from evil genius' spell. A daybreak, Odette bids farewell to the Prince, The demonic genius' shadow foretells hard ordeals for Siegfried.

Act III - A ball in the Castle. The Sovereign Princess and Siegfried appear. The guests respectfully bow to them. Charming girls, one after another, are passing by the young man and his mother. But none of them can touch the Prince's heart as his thoughts long for Odette. The heralds announce new guests' arrival. Rothbard, who has assumed the appearance of a noble knight, enters the hall with his daughter Odile, looking very much like Odette.

Inexperienced Siegfried has believed the cheaters. He's ready to give his hand to Odile. A presentiment of fatality makes the Prince's tutor try to save the young man from an imprudent step. But the Prince, charmed with Rothbard's spell and blinded with Odile's beauty, makes his choice. From now on, Odile becomes his bride, Rothbard hastens to join his daughter and Siegfried's hands.The Prince vows love to Odile. At this moment Odette's figure appears in a castle window. Siegfried comes to understand the deception and realise his betrayal. He runs out of the hall in despair. The guests are embarrassed.

The lake coast again. The swan girls are anxiously waiting for Odette's return. The Queen emotionally tells about Siegfried's inadvertent treachery. The girls are seized by despair: nothing will rescue them from the evil spell now. Siegfried comes to the lake coast. He implores Odette to forgive his inadvertent betrayal. The girl in love believes the young man, but nothing more can avert their unhappy destiny: Odette and the girls are to die, and Siegfried will marry Odile.

As he realises his doom, the Prince is ready to atone for his fault at the cost of his own life. He's looking for Rothbart to go into combat against him. Exhausted in the unequal battle, the young man gathers his last strength and tears the crown away from the wizard's head, the crown holding his power and witchcraft. The sky is pierces by lightning. The evil genius finds his death. The dreadful spell falls away. Odette stretches her hands to her love and saviour.

The ballet had three acts and at the end we gave them a standing ovation. It was a very long performance and we were walking home around 5pm.  Guddis was attending a birthday party for a lady from work and asked if I was interested, however I thought it best to rest and try to get rid of my cold altogether!  I stayed home and relaxed and watched episodes of True Blood and had bacon and eggs for dinner. Yum!
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