ballet explained: swan lake, act 1

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

Our story takes place long ago in the Land of Impulsive Decisions. It is the evening of Prince Siegfried’s 21st birthday, and he’s celebrating with his tutor, friends, and some peasants. Remember when your parents made you invite your entire class to your birthday parties? It’s like that.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

The soirée is a real rager – or at least as fun as a party can be when your teacher is there – until Siegfried’s mother shows up. The Queen is concerned about Prince Siegfried’s carefree lifestyle and refusal to, you know, grow the hell up. That said, Prince Siegfried’s dad just died, so the Queen is hoping that a) his grief is contributing his jackassery, and b) a super fun birthday party might help him snap out of it.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

Like any good mother trying to compensate for a child’s loss, the Queen gives Siegfried an extra-special birthday gift: a crossbow. Because giving an immature and somewhat depressed ninny a piece of dangerous weaponry makes perfect sense.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

Siegfried is pretty excited about his new toy, so the Queen figures it might be a good time to mention that he has to get married. Like, this week. Siegfried is all: WHAT? Mom, no! And the Queen is all: Oh, it’s happening.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

The Queen tells Siegfried that he must pick his bride from a pile of girls she has invited to a ball the next evening. It’s basically a buffet-style arranged marriage. Prince Siegfried was hoping to marry for love – and spend a loooooooong time looking for it – so he’s pretty disappointed.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

Unable to convince his mother that throwing a Betrothal Ball is the worst idea ever, Siegfried throws a hissy fit and runs into the forest with his friends. This is, of course, the most sensible way to deal with your fear of commitment. Throw in the chance of accidentally shooting one of your pals with your new crossbow? Epic dealing.

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

ballet explained: swan lake // movita beaucoup

11 Responses to ballet explained: swan lake, act 1

  1. AHAnto October 26, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    They always leave the really GOOD stuff off the official program notes. Thank goodness for you! P.S. My Dame Margo Fonteyn retelling has none of this. Who was she protecting, I wonder?

    • movita beaucoup October 27, 2017 at 8:43 am #

      I don’t want to start anything, but it’s possible that Fonteyn’s mother was a friend of Siegfried’s father. Just sayin’…

  2. Karen October 27, 2017 at 12:51 am #

    OMG, every. single. photo. numbersign best post ever.

    • movita beaucoup October 27, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      And three more acts to come! Ballet is blogging gold!

  3. thatskinnychickcanbake October 27, 2017 at 5:50 am #

    All the times I’ve seen Swan Lake and I finally understand it! My oldest seems to have Siegfried’s attitude about getting married. I need to throw a party!

    • movita beaucoup October 27, 2017 at 8:47 am #

      You’ll probably want to pay attention to Act 3 then – just to avoid some issues that are gunna come up for Siegfried. We don’t want anything *ahem* bad to happen to your son… 😬

  4. Bonnie October 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    Oh I can just hardly wait for the next installment. My tutu’s in a knot. 😄

    • movita beaucoup October 29, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

      Act 2 is coming this week! Only a couple more sleeps…

  5. Lan | MoreStomach October 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    The suspense! i should’ve waited for ALLLLLL the posts in this series to publish, so i could Netflix binge it, but no, i hafta network wait for the next post. don’t make me pull a Prince Siegfried tantrum.

  6. WillCookForFriends November 1, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    “number sign bestpartever” hahaha! Pleeeeeeease tell me you’re going to make a book of ballets. <3

  7. Sally White November 20, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    This is sooo funny! You must have kids lol. The first time I went to a Swan Lake performance, I promptly fell asleep as the curtain rose and missed the whole show (I was a manual laborer at the time)- but I did catch it a couple of years later- wide awake performed by the Russian Ballet. I can’t wait to read the rest of your interpretation- and will def recommend the kids read it before taking them. Great job!

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