All of Year 5 participated in an all day workshop on the ballet movements associated with the story of ‘Swan Lake’ in preparation for their day of actually attending the ballet.
The lady who was leading the workshop and teaching us all the ballet moves was called Danielle and she was from the ‘English National Ballet’. She was accompanied by David on the piano who was brilliant.
The teacher separated us into ‘swans’ and ‘Rothbarts’ and we had to create four movements. Rothbart was the villain; he was half-human and half-bird, an evil sorcerer. He had dark magical powers and turned Odette, Siegfried’s love, and other maidens into swans. Rothbart is jealous of Odette and fools Siegfried, Odette’s love, by using an identical girl called Odile in place of Odette.
Tragically Siegfried realises his mistake but after a fight; Odette throws herself into the lake followed by Siegfried. The following dawn Odette and Siegfried are joined in eternal love.
A week later…
Year 5 attended the London Coliseum for an afternoon performance of Swan Lake.
We travelled by underground on the District line to Embankment. Walking quickly to the theatre, we arrived on time and collected our tickets and went to our seats. The seats were quite high and we had a really good view.
Below us we could see the orchestra – they were so many musicians and so many instruments.
We waited for the performance to begin and there was silence- we could have heard a pin drop.
The ballerinas had spot lights on them as they danced and they wore very tight clothes and the men wore actual ‘tights’. (We think the men had to wear tights as trousers would have got in the way of their dancing – they looked a little funny but they could jump very high!). All the cast had lots of make-up on and they had beautiful costumes.
We noticed that when an evil character appeared on stage, the music would be loud and fast but when there was a good character, the music was slow and calm.
The ladies were really skinny so that the men could pick them up easily, the prince, Siegfried, picked up Odette and held her up for a long time – it was spectacular.
The backdrop to the stage and the different scenes were very realistic. The whole performance was made up of four acts with two intervals.
We could follow the story although there was no narrator or words exchanged – it was all done through actions.
Year 5 really had a very enjoyable experience and we would like to go again. We felt really tired but excited when we got back to school at 6.00pm and we told our families all about it.
It was also really pleasing that some teachers from other schools and two recently retired teachers commented to our teachers that we were a credit to our school because we were so well behaved.
Year 5 troupe