Tchaikovsky's famed ballet is hardly a stranger to the Singapore stage. The Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) first performed it in 2007, and have brought it back every few years. This December, the show takes the spotlight again, but SDT's artistic director Janek Schergen is far from bored of it: 'Swan Lake is a ballet in which you can always bring more depth. It is a ballet that you can keep exposing new audiences to. In fact, even though we have staged it several times, many in our present audience have not experienced this ballet.'
The story centres on Prince Siegfried (performed here by Chen Peng or Kenya Nakamura), who goes hunting one night and almost shoots a swan before it suddenly transforms into a beautiful maiden, Odette (performed by Rosa Park or Chihiro Uchida). And because this is the festive season, the original morbid ending – the prince and the damsel kill themselves before ascending to the heavens as lovers – is scratched.
'I’ve been involved in both happy and tragic endings,' Schergen says. 'But I’ve realised that audiences respond better to the happy ending rather than the melodramatic and tragic one.' So don’t you worry about this production dampening your Christmas cheer.