ad gifted tickets // One of the things I love about blogging is the opportunities you can gain from it. I’ve been lucky in my time as a blogger to have been invited to a few different places that I probably wouldn’t have been to, had I not been asked. Which is the best thing – discovering something new! Even better if it ends up being something you love.

And that’s exactly what happened with this experience of the Swan Lake ballet that Carl and I were invited to on Sunday 12th March.

Neither of us have ever been to a ballet before and have limited knowledge of it. The extent of our ballet endeavours is probably watching the film Black Swan – which although is a great film, probably isn’t too reliable a source.

So we were keen to go and see this ballet as it was a brand new experience for both of us.

We decided to see Swan Lake which (again with the Black Swan film) I have a basic understanding of and this was being performed at the Cliffs Pavillion theatre in Southend-on-Sea, a theatre we’re very familiar as we’ve been there plenty of times to see The Darkness, Derren Brown and We Will Rock You.

After a bit of a hectic journey there, we finally made it and settled down to watch the performance.

It was about an hour and 40 minutes, with a 20 minute interval which I think is a nice length of time for a performance. Split into acts, Swan Lake is one of the greatest romantic ballets of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score.

From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.

From Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette as she flutters with emotional intensity, the dual role of Odette/Odile is one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges.  

A few images of The Nutcracker, Giselle and Coppelia:

We were both so blown away by the performance. 

Ballet is understandably a beautiful dance and seeing it performed live is another experience. You really get to see these dancers talent and it is astonishing. They move effortlessly and beautifully, with so much grace and poise. 

There were plenty of group numbers, along with solos, which were all fantastic to watch.

Another amazing aspect of this performance is the live orchestra which compliments the performance, who are performing the beautiful score to the Swan Lake ballet. Live music is always a bonus in any performance and I think this added to the experience tenfold.

The stand-out for me was the girl that played Odette and Odile. She was the most beautiful dancer – you really do get transfixed by their movements.

If you’ve never seen a ballet before, I would highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful, relaxing and emotive experience, allowing you to watch professionals do what they do best.

A little bit about the Varna International Ballet and Orchestra:

arna State Opera was founded in 1947 by the renowned Bulgarian tenor Peter Raycheff. The main credit for the development of the ballet troupe goes to Galina and Stefan Yordanov who were Artistic Directors and choreographers for over 25 years (1960-1985).

They formed the image of the Varna Ballet and brought it to the international stage and founded the first and now world-famous Varna International Ballet Competition in 1964. Since 2010 Varna State Opera and Varna Drama Theatre are united in one cultural institute called Theatre and Music Production Centre Varna.  

Important figures on the Varna ballet history are both prima ballerinas Svetlomira Mihailova and Ekaterina Cheshmedzhieva, aslo principal dancer Konstantin Iliev and today successfully dance the outstanding ballet soloists Iliyana Slavova, Pavel Kirchev, Claire Marie Gillard Lestan, Marco di Salvo and others. 

The Varna Ballet Team participates traditionally in the International Music Festival Varna Summer, Christmas and Easter Music Festivals and in Opera Craiova Festival in Romania, Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival in Turkey.

The Varna Ballet toured in Belgium, Ukraine, UK, Russia, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Mexico, Romania  and other countries. The Ballet team and individual artists are the winners of the most prestigious awards for performing arts in Bulgaria, also VARNA Award. 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: