MATTHEW Bourne’s allmale approach to this classic ballet is utterly spine-tingling.
And I don’t just mean the half naked men who prowl menacingly around the stage.
Swan Lake is an astonishing dance drama made all the more breathtaking by its thrilling reimagining by the master of modern dance.
Gone are the white tutus and gone is the rule book.
He’s done away with the romantic imagery of delicate ballerinas as elegant creatures who glide their way through a more traditional version of the production.
These swans are much more akin to those I have encountered in real life – vicious fighters easily capable of breaking your neck.
Yes, they still retain their beauty and grace, but these swans are truly evil. Their foreheads are marked with a foreboding black stripe and they twitch their heads from side to side in the most sinister way, every move more aggressive than the last.
Before the male swans make their entrance, we are treated to a witty ballet within a ballet, which deliberately sends up classical dance in a brilliant parody full of hilarious clichés.
Anjali Mehra puts in a brilliant comic cameo as the commoner hoping to become a royal.
Then, enter the sublime Chris Trenfield as The Swan, a leaping, bounding, mesmerising lead who arrives as The Prince (a regal, poised Liam Mower) is contemplating suicide.
They make an enchanting pair – Trenfield doubling as the charismatic leather-clad black swan, strutting and seducing everyone and everything just as the Prince begins his descent into madness.
The climactic scenes are an ensemble triumph for the male swans.
Ground-breaking choreography perfectly worked to the most celebrated score of all time, lavish sets and costumes, a huge, superb cast and clever use of shadow all combine to make Swan Lake a wonder.