Daring to be different in a tweak of tradition

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Swan Lake Blackpool Grand Theatre

ONE can never tire of Swan Lake, for each company delivers a very different performance.

Last night's interpretation by the innovative Russian State Ballet tweaked tradition but there was the sense something had fallen flat in the process.

The real stars were the corps de ballet, mesmerising with grace and precision, the principals lacking some pace, or a prince with real fire in his belly and the vigour to deliver a credible challenge to the villain of the piece. Swan Lake shouldn't plod. It should flow and soar and carry the audience with it.

However, here's a company which dares to be different, delivering Don Quixote as well as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and we may yet get Spartacus storming the stage.

The benchmark classic, the most technically and emotionally challenging, was saved to last, and, even with some low key moments, maintained a high standard.

And while Tchaikovsky's score is tough on dancers, it encourages musicians to shine. The Orchestra of Siberia came in from the cold, dazzling with near virtuoso performances from harp, double base, cello and an exceptional first violinist.

In their hands, the timeless magic endures.