Swan Lake (*) until Sun, Mar 15, 2009

March 15, 2009

Shakti’s Swan Lake is one of those “to be missed” shows.

Yes, there is precision, yes it is a good idea to explore this classic ballet, but no, this is not the way.

Shakti’s obvious skill is lost in this self-indulgent piece made worse by bad, bad costume choices.

There is a certain age after which nudity should be reserved for partners and naturist colonies, and Shakti has passed that age. Perhaps this is why most of us were distracted from the premise that the “black swan symbolises the material world and the white swan the pure desire within which cries to be released”. 

In this pitiful striptease-cum-dance, Shakti descends beneath dignity in moves and gestures that had four out of five audience members glancing at fellow patrons in disbelief, numerous times through the performance. 

One unexpected tragedy surrounding this show is how it strips credibility from the following reviewers/publications:

London Ballet Review: named it as one of their favourites!  

3 weeks, Edinburgh: “A more romantic piece you will not see!” If that is romance, a lapdance is akin to courtship!
Daily Mail: “You thought swans were sedate but they are sexy!” Nude and desperate perhaps, not sexy.
Scotsman: “Highlight of the festival!” Must have been a terrible festival
Independent: “Wild dance experience not to be missed!” Wild, yes, meaningful, no.
Herald: “Danced with utmost precision.” Methinks that is damning with faint praise.
Lesson learned: trust absolutely no recommendations from any of these publications ever again.