Swan Lake tells the timeless tale of redemption through love. It is probably the best-known, best-loved of all the classical ballets, and, for the prima ballerina who dances the dual role of Odette and Odile, the supreme test of the dancer's craft.
The dancing in this historic performance is stupendous. Bessmertnova and Lavorovski are both Bolshoi jewels, embodying the athleticism, grace, power and artistic interpretation that exemplified the tradition.
Asaf Messerer's 80th birthday gala at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1982, it is actually the Concert-class choreographed by him, with all the legendary stars of that time: Akimov, Lavrovsky, Vasiliev, Maximova, Semenyaka, A. Liepa, Vasyuchenko, Ananiashvili, Timofeyeva.....
The story of the ballet is a tad convoluted. We begin with a group of dancers, venturing into the countryside to celebrate the end of the harvest. It transpires that one of the land girls has previously studied ballet in the City but gave it up to marry the man of her dreams. Irritatingly, this same man repays her by attempting to seduce a beautiful ballerina of the company. And coincidentally, the land girl and the ballerina are best friends! Thereafter, the plot becomes complex and involves much cross-dressing, seduction of elderly neighbours and men in dog costumes.