The Swan Lake Ballet, one of the world’s most famous plays, will be performed at the Siri Fort Auditorium in the national capital this weekend. Originally composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky — a Russian composer of the romantic period — in 1875–76, this is the first time the original production will be performed in India by an all international artiste cast.
India’s association with this form of dance goes a long way back. Kathak — one of the country’s most prominent classical dance forms — is believed to have taken influence from classical ballet. So, one can expect such an event to pave the way for ballet, in terms of a largely-practiced dance form, in the country.
Anatoliy Kazatskiy, the ballet’s director, is looking forward to performing in front of the Indian crowd for the first time and is thrilled to see the initial response from the audience.
“India is one of the few countries that has a rich cultural heritage and that puts enormous performance pressure. We are positive that the ballet will satisfy and gratify Indian audiences, and look forward to entertaining them to the fullest,” says Kazatskiy. He believes the primary objective of artistes is to satisfy the thirst for art of our audience.
Navrasa Duende, a Gurugram-based production house founded by Dinesh Singh, which creates, manages, and promotes unique productions of live entertainment across countries, is bringing the ballet to India.
Singh believes that despite being a 122-year-old premiere, Swan Lake’s key message, that love conquers all, is as true today as it was back when it was premiered for the first time.
“It is a fairy mystic emotional tale and is known for its demanding technical skills, making it the most difficult, yet an all-time classic ballet ever. India has an ancient and rich tradition of dance and music. We are optimistic that Indians will appreciate such classical art forms. In essence, there is no change from the classical format,” he points out.
So why bring it to the national capital and not any other city? Singh says, “Delhi has a mixed audience from all over India, expatriates, diplomats… therefore, as a first attempt, Delhi’s response can be a good validation for the appeal it can find in India.”
Singh is hopeful the ballet will attract the younger generation, too, and not just the imagination of an elite and sophisticated audience. Navrasa Duende has planned five shows of Swan Lake in Delhi this year, although next year, they will take it to Mumbai and have a multi-city tour as well. “There is a lot of effort involved in reaching out to the audience at the initial stage and we are going ahead step by step.” For Navrasa Duende, this is just one of the many other shows that they plan to bring to India in the years to come.