Themes of Swan Lake

It’s common in theatrical dance for each company to adapt a piece to their own style and emphasize various interpretations. Yet, a ballet as classic as “Swan Lake”holds a number of themes that are universal to almost any productions.

Primarily, we notice a sense of beauty with fluid and dynamic movements by the prima ballerina playing Odette. She is elegant and graceful, but also somewhat uncomfortable in her human form. As a swan, she is poised, though she often feels isolated at night. Beauty does not equal confidence, sometimes it severely diminishes it.

Prince Siegfried also plays a role in his own world away from the lake. Bound by responsibility, his royal status pins him to a future that’s been decided. His reluctance leads to rebellion as he follows his heart for love, which is the central theme that prevails throughout the ballet.

The fight between good and evil is found here as well. After all, what good love story doesn’t have a little conflict? The juxtaposition of a ballerina playing two opposing roles only enhances this concept. The deception by Von Rothbart and Odile fuel the battle and, though it ends in the death of all four characters, good does ultimately prevail.

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