There have been some weird and wonderful things to appear on our TVs during the lockdown period. We’ve had Zoom calls of actors chatting, we’ve had Zoom calls of people reporting the news. Now we’ve got a sneak peek into the bathrooms of top ballerinas as they perform a slightly unusual version of Swan Lake. Don’t worry, it is suitable for the kids!
Bathtub Swan Lake
What we are referring to is the BBC’s latest little odd snippet of TV that is called Swan Lake Bath Ballet. Running for just three minutes, this slightly odd-sounding concept is actually fascinating to watch.
In it, you will see (briefly) 27 top dancers reinterpreting the famous ballet by Tchaikovsky while being in the bathroom. And even if you aren’t a fan of the ballet, you’ll love the chance to spy their rather gorgeous bathrooms. Standalone rub envy, anyone?
This fun bit of entertainment involves snippets of the classic Swan Lake theme and features dancers from the American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet.
The concept behind the creation
This little bit of theatre was created by UK choreographer Corey Baker. His idea was to film the dancers entirely on iPhones with each dancer required to become a one-person film crew. Baker was there (over Zoom, of course) to help direct them and keep them right.
He admits the whole project was a little trickier than he’d imagined. But he is one to try something a little different. His previous project, Antarctica: The First Dance involved taking New Zealand ballet star Madeleine Graham to dance in, you guessed it, Antarctica.
Before that, he has filmed dancing beneath the famous Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham and a spot in Hong Kong that isn’t well known but is lush and green. So, reinterpreting a famous ballet in a bathtub was quite simple for him - in principle!
Away from the original story
While there’s no doubt this little snippet of almost-dance is fun and a light-hearted way to remind people that the ballet world does still exist, it didn’t have much to do with the original story.
There really wasn’t much of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette, the spell that turned her into a swan and their nemesis, Baron Von Rothbart who wants to keep them apart. But that’s okay, you can only do so much in three minutes and a bathtub, no matter how stylish.
For people pining for the real thing, you can always enjoy the music from the show until theatres are fully reopened. While the original dancers declared that the music was ‘too difficult’ to dance to, it is now instantly recognised as connected with the ballet.
Swan Lake Bath Ballet is a light-hearted bit of fun and a way to show the talents of the choreographer, but it keeps the world of ballet top in people’s minds as we move towards shows restarting and theatres opening again completely.