The evening after our arrival in St. Petersburg, our group was given the option of attending a production of Swan Lake ballet. A vote was taken, and even though the men were all eyeing each other to see how the others were voting, no one decided to opt out. I daresay peer pressure was at hand, because I know there were some doubts in the minds of the men, at least.
So after a packed day of touring, no time for anything but a quick bite of dinner, and the effects of a 3 hour time difference still hovering over our heads, we were off to the Palace Theatre's production of Swan Lake.
The Palace Theatre was quite extravagant, and we were quite pleased to find that our group was given the tsar's box. We felt quite sure the rest of the audience was watching us and wondering who those "famous" people must be, so we put on our best royal behavior. I must report to you that we were enchanted by the performance, even the men, and that no one, not one, even nodded during the production.
As you may or may not know, Swan Lake is a ballet written by Tchaikovsky in 1876. The story, taken from Russian folk tales, centers around Odette, a princess turned into a swan by the curse of an evil sorcerer. There have been several different endings performed through the years, but if you watch the clip below you will see that in the Russian performance, the sorcerer dies after the prince breaks one of his wings. Odette becomes human once again and is reunited happily with her prince. Hope you enjoy a small piece of the finale that I was able to record. Click twice to see it full screen on YouTube.