Swan Lake is a ballet of choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The ballet was created at the request of the Imperial Theatre in Moscow. They requested composer Tchaikovsky who went on for a year to write the music. The composition was completed in 1876. The original choreographer was Julius Reisinger. The premiere was at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on March 4, 1877. This version was a shortened version of the complete work. Initially, the ballet was not a great success because the audience had to get used to the fact that the music played such a dominant role, and the choreography was there to serve and served only as a secondary representation of the story that was primarily determined by the music. Only after the death of the composer his work was for the first time performed in its full length on February 17, 1895 in St. Petersburg. It eventually became one of the most performed ballets in the world and the most current versions exclude the chosen choreography more closely to the original of Petipa and Ivanov. The ballet is one of the highlights of the classical romantic ballet genre.
Prince Siegfried is on his birthday at the royal court forced by his parents to choose a bride from the present girls. He is angry and sad because he cannot figure out a wife out of love and free choice, and leaves the ball to go out in the woods hunting to change his minds.

Swan lake

ZwanenmeerHe sees a flock of swans flying over, he follows them to the edge of a lake in the woods and aims his bow. If he has one in sight, the swan turns into a beautiful young woman dressed in a white dress with swan feathers. He approaches her and the two dance together. The girl tells him that she is the princess Odette and is kidnapped with her ​​companions by an evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, who has bewitched the girls so that they are swans by day and at night only temporarily girls again. They stay overnight at the lake in the forest formed by the tears of the parents of Odette when they heard of the kidnapping. Siegfried falls in love with Odette, swears eternal allegiance to her and want to seal a marriage. This is the only way to break the spell of Von Rothbart. The magician appears on the scene and Siegfried threatens to kill him but Odette intervenes. If Von Rotbart would die before the spell is broken, it cannot be undone. The Prince returns to the ball in the royal castle.

The deception

In the castle a while later Von Rotbart also appears with his own daughter Odile, who looks identical to Odette except that she is in black plumage disguise. The prince thinks it is Odette and dances with her​​. He introduces her to the court and states that he wants to marry her. At that moment, he looks around and sees the real Odette and realizes that he has made a terrible mistake, but it's too late, he has not marry her by his statement and the spell is not undone.

Several apotheoses

At this point in the ballet there are different versions arosen how it goes. In the original version, both are realizing that the spell can never be broken, and commit Siegfried and Odette suicide together by jumping in the lake. Von Rothbart dies because of his power over them through their choice is lost.

The final scenes are going to vary later worldwide from positive romantic to tragic romantic with many intermediate forms. Sometimes there is a final battle between the magician and the prince in which the prince overcomes by breaking one of the swans wings of the wizard what breaks the spell. Sometimes there is a final scene added in which the two lovers holding hands rise to the sky. But there is a final scene in which the prince is only seen in sunk deep sorrow after Odette forever is a swan again.