Swan Lake Essay

511 WordsNov 13, 20123 Pages
Kimberly Beaudin Christine Cali Philosophy 101 21 October, 2012 Swan Lake The original Swan Lake was based on the story of Ondine, a German myth with a theme common in Romanticism that was adapted by Hans Christian Andersen for his story The Little Mermaid. Ondine was a beautiful and immortal water nymph. The only threat to her eternal happiness was if she fell in love with a mortal and bore his child, as she would then lose her immortality. Ondine duly fell in love with a dashing knight, Sir Lawrence, and they were married, the knight pledging unfailing love and faithfulness to her with his every waking breath. A year after their wedding Ondine bore Lawrence a son. From that moment she began to age. As Ondine’s beauty faded, Lawrence lost interest in her. Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake radically reinterprets the myth. The focus of the ballet is turned away from the Ondine character to the man – the Prince. It is the Prince who struggles against repression and hopes for liberty, and who needs love to make him safe. In addition, it is not the mortal who is unfaithful to the nymph. Rather, it is the Swan who expresses love for the Prince, betrays him in the form of the stranger, and finally returns to him. However, as in the Ondine myth, the sin of betrayal cannot be expiated except in death. In Scene Three, the Queen, one of her admiring soldiers, the Private Secretary, the Prince, and the girlfriend all appear in a theater box, where they watch a ballet that is staged for the actual audience as well as for the characters. It is a poor rendition of a romantic ballet, in which a fairy princess fights off three goblins and wins the love of a Tyrolean lumberjack. The ballet's impressive backdrop and detailed costumes, and dramatic acting poke fun at the romantic ballets of which the original Swan Lake was a core example. The girlfriend's response to the dance, and

More about Swan Lake Essay

Open Document