If you've seen Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" it's unlikely that you've seen it as a story about women street-dancing and addicted to drugs. But that's exactly what Fredrik Rydman has imagined with his new interpretation, "Swan Lake Reloaded."
A classic ballet with a modern spin, choreographer and director Fredrik Rydman has mashed up the original score by adding some new additions, including music from contemporary artist Adiam Dymott, to the original. He has also combined street dance with classical ballet- a concept which may be new for many, especially when performed in the hallowed halls of the London Coliseum. Rydman, however, is delighted with the response to his visionary piece.
redrid Rydman, Choreographer, said, "Very often when you do street dance things everyone’s like, ’Yeah, finally we get the young crowd in the theater,’ but this one doesn’t appeal to only the younger ones because we had their mothers and fathers and also their grandparents come here and they all seem to enjoy the show. I think, for me, that’s really important because I don’t want to just turn myself to the cooler kids or whatever. If anyone enjoys dance I’m happy, you know."
In attempting to appeal to a broader audience, Rydman has stripped "Swan Lake" to the bare bones of the story, a story that he argues is fairly complex. By creating a world were tutus and traditional ballet elements are replaced with smartphones and special effects, he brings the story bang up to date.
The tale of Prince Siegfried and Odette is an iconic one. Rydman’s transposition of the struggle between good and evil moving away from a lake and onto the street makes the story a 21st century morality tale where desire for drugs and love play a central role.
Fredrid Rydman, Choreographer, said, "That was actually one of my main goals, to make it a little bit more understandable and if you put it in different situations that people can relate to and understand then you don’t have to go into this like bad pantomime dancing, like, (makes exaggerated dance motions) ’I love you,’ that sort of thing, so instead you can focus on the emotions and things like that, because dance is really like a good language to express emotions I think."
The show plays in London until August 10th. With already 70,000 tickets sold and following a sell-out European tour, the bold mix of ballet and street dance has obviously been a crowd pleaser.