A Czech National Ballet production of the most celebrated and most popular classical ballet is to be revived at the end of September.
Kenneth Greve, a former principal dancer, ballet master, educator and choreographer of the Royal Danish Ballet, currently Artistic Director of the Finnish National Ballet, staged his adaptation of Swan Lake for the Czech National Ballet back in 2009. Following a two-year break, the production is now returning to the National Theatre in Prague, bringing back to the audiences the immortal story and the classical ballet.
We asked Kenneth Greve, whom we found busy at work with the dancers in Prague:
When you now view your ballet after such a long time, would you change anything?
Since its premiere, I have staged the work on three occasions at theatres around the world, and I have changed a few things.
But I think that the version you have in Prague becomes your theatre. In Helsinki, for instance, the building is modern, the stage larger, so I have somewhat modified the sets and lighting, so that the production better conforms to that space.
Would you amend anything in your choreography?
Not really, except for minor changes in the Pas de trois, and I would also include a small variation for Benno, which it lacks.
Can you, after such a long time, observe any transformations in our company?
Your company is definitely more international, as well as more homogenous when it comes to the dancers’ performances. They are better balanced and possess a greater technical sophistication. Yes, over that time the company has further improved its quality.
Who have you chosen to portray the lead roles this time?
My choice has been the same as for the premiere years ago, with the principal dancers Nikola Márová and Michal Štípa remaining in the lead roles. They are a truly beautiful and reliable pair, who have grown up and artistically matured in the roles over the years. As for the alternating couple, who will be debuting in the roles, I have opted for Andrea Kramešová and Giovanni Rotolo. I feel they possess a profundity, sensitivity and a certain degree of frailty.