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'''''[[color:#191970: Swan Lake]]''''' (Russian: ''Лебединое Озеро, Lebedinoye Ozero'') is a ballet, by PyotrIlyichTchaikovsky , composed 1875-1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, by Vladimir Begichev and Vasiliy Geltser was fashioned from Russian folk tales as well as an ancient German legend, which tells the story of Odette, a girl turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger. The ballet received its premiere on February 27, 1877, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as ''Le lac des cygnes'' ("The Lake of the Swans"), French being the language of the Imperial Russian court. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, first staged for the Imperial Ballet on January 15, 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo.

Many critics have disputed the original source of the ''Swan Lake'' story. The Russian ballet patriarch Fyodor Lopukhov has called ''Swan Lake'' a "national ballet" due to the swans which are common in Russian romantic lyrics, while many of the movements of the ''corps de ballet'' originated from Slavonic ring-dances. According to Lopukhov, "both the plot of Swan Lake (despite the fact that it is based on German source), the image of the Swan, and the very idea of a faithful love are essentially Russian". Though the scenario is (as in the case of ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'') tenuously based on a story by a German author, in this case Johann Karl August Musäus' ''Der geraubte Schleier'' ("The Stolen Veil"), this provides only the general outline of the plot; the Russian folktale "Literature/TheWhiteDuck" also bears some resemblance to the story of the ballet and might have been another possible source. The contemporaries of Tchaikovsky recalled the composer taking great interest in the life story of [[KingLudwigII Ludwig II]], the Bavarian King and Count Palatine of the Rhine, who was constantly associated with the symbol of the Swan, and whom "whether consciously or not"” Tchaikovsky chose as the prototype of the dream-haunted Prince Siegfried.

It's probably the most famous ballet of all time. Anytime a character in a movie or a television series goes to the ballet, it's likely to be ''Swan Lake'' by default. Even the general public, which is largely ignorant to the ballet, is familiar with at least the basics of ''Swan Lake''.
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!!!Works that are based on or revolve around ''Swan Lake'' include:
* ''Swan Lake 1981'' (a hard-to-find anime adaptation}
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess''
* ''Film/BlackSwan''
* ''Literature/TheBlackSwan'' (a semi-novelization from Odile's point of view)
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' (a fairytale based series which take considerable influence from ''Swan Lake'')
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieOfSwanLake''

In Russian media SwanLake is somewhat of a trope in its own right. If there is any scene involving ballet or ballet will be shown on TV it will always be SwanLake. Always. Specifically "the dance of the little swans" scene.
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!!!Works that reference or include scenes from ''Swan Lake'' are:
* ''Animation/AboutSidorovVova''
* ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' (the girls rehearse an excerpt)
* ''Film/GentlemenOfFortune'', Sad Sack reminiscences how he went to the ballet before he became criminal
* ''Kidnapping Caucasian Style''
* ''Animation/NuPogodi''
* The second game in the ''Videogame/DarkParables'' PC game series presents Odette (only identified as the Swan Lake Princess) as a PosthumousCharacter.
* From the same game developers, ''Macabre Mysteries: Curse of the Nightingale'' includes a BackStory in which two women play the "Swan Sisters" in a ballet which is clearly inspired by, if not a revamping of, ''Swan Lake''. The one who plays the white swan is good; the one who plays the black swan is evil.
* When Rudolf Nureyev appeared on ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', they had him do ''Swine Lake''.
* In ''Film/BillyElliot'' the theme appears several times throughout the film and, in the final scene, the titular character plays a signet in the ballet.
* ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'', a 1990 PC adventure game, used SwanLake for the [[PublicDomainSoundtrack entire sound track.]]
* ''Anime/KaleidoStar'' used SwanLake as the basis for a circus show in the second season. It turns out to be a LighterAndSofter adaptation that has [[spoiler: Sora as a bright Odette [[SparedByTheAdaptation who lives through all]], Leon as a DefrostingIceKing Siegfried who manages to play out the ''Angelic Maneuvre'' with Sora, and May as an {{Anti Villain}}ous Odile who [[HeelFaceTurn ultimately is saved too]].]]
* ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'' has an arc (''Such Stuff...'') which is best described as ''Swan Lake'' [[XMeetsY meets]] ''{{Film/Inception}}''. As expected it's a massive MindScrew which gets a lot easier on the brain if you know the basic storyline of this ballet. It also has a villain who introduces herself as "Odile" and a dream sequence that discusses the RevisedEnding controversy.

Also notable for having additional meaning for Russians because during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=August_Coup 1991 crisis]], all normal television programs were shut down and all channels showed ''SwanLake'' instead.

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!''Swan Lake'' has examples of:
* ActingForTwo: Odette and Odile are traditionally played by the same ballerina as they have to resemble each other. Some productions cast two women in the roles, which leaves room for Odile to have a part in the finale
* AdaptedOut: Depending on the production, Siegfried's friend Benno and the Jester can be cut out without disrupting the narrative.
* AllJustADream: Some productions imply that the story is a dream of Siegfried's.
* AllegedLookalikes: Odile is an exact copy of Odette, but she dresses in black while Odette wears white.
* AnimalStereotypes: The swans are graceful and elegant, and Rothbart, who's like an owl, is watchful and predatory.
* AntiVillain: Some productions portray Odile as a sympathetic or even tragic figure.
* BettyAndVeronica: Odette and Odile are this for Siegfried.
* BigBad: Von Rothbart.
* BigBadFriend: In some productions Rothbart doubles as Wolfgang, Siegfried's tutor.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: When Siegfried accidentally confesses his love to Odile, he seals Odette's fate: her spell is now unbreakable. Odette, doomed to swan form perpetually, [[DrivenToSuicide leaps into the lake and drowns herself]]. Unwilling to live without her, Siegfried follows suit and the two [[TogetherInDeath die together]]. Sometimes, the two are shown rising to heaven in an apotheosis.]] In some versions of the ballet, this is [[spoiler:changed to a happy ending, where Odette lives and she and the other swans are freed from their captivity, and sometimes this includes a [[AntiVillain more sympathetic role]] for an Odile [[HeelFaceTurn who is redeemed as well]].]]
* ClipItsWings: In happy endings, von Rothbart's power is usually broken at the end by tearing off one or both of his wings.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Odette wears white. Odile wears black. This was not the case in early versions of the ballet, where Odile wore gaudy colors.
* DaddysLittleVillain: Some interpretations of Odile, especially when the two are played by different women.
* DamselInDistress: Odette and all the other swan maidens.
* {{Disneyfication}}: Depending on the staging, the BittersweetEnding may be changed to HappilyEverAfter. The same change was made in the animated feature ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'', a direct example applied to the ballet's plot. Interestingly, this appears to have been the ''original'' ending of the ballet, with more bittersweet versions being later additions to the story.
* DownerEnding: There are a few alternative endings including [[spoiler: Siegfried's accidental betrayal causes Odette to turn into a swan permanently and Siegfried is left alone to mourn her]] and [[spoiler: Siegfried attempts to fight Von Rothbart with the result that they both fall into the lake and drown, leaving Odette both widowed and cursed forever]]. Another has [[spoiler:Rothbart kill Siegfried and claim Odette forever, taking her away as Siegfried futilely reaches towards them in his dying moments]].
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: In versions where the prologue is used, Siegfried dreams of Odette and her transformation before meeting her. [[spoiler: In one variation, this turns out to also be foreshadowing a DyingDream that he has in the finale]].
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: In one of the ballet's most famous moments, Odile executes thirty-two fouettés while seducing the Prince.
* EvilCounterpart[=/=]EvilTwin: Odile, although given that she has no established character beyond being TheVamp, whether or not she's evil depends on the interpretation of the production.
* EvilSorcerer: Von Rothbart.
* {{Fainting}}: It's common for the Queen Mother to faint when Siegfried goes off to find Odette after von Rothbart and Odile trick him.
* GenderFlip: The Matthew Bourne version features male swans.
* HeelFaceTurn: Odile in some versions.
* IWantGrandkids: Siegfried's mother wants her son to marry and have children before she passes on.
* InvoluntaryShapeShifting: Odette and the other swan maidens.
* KarmicDeath: Depending on the production, the lovers or Rorthbart can die this way.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Siegfried.
* {{Leitmotif}}: The swans' theme.
* LightFeminineDarkFeminine: Odette is light while Odile is dark.
* LightIsGood[=/=]DarkIsEvil: Played straight with Odette and Odile, who wear white and black tutus respectively.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Between Odette and Siegfried.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Odile.
* MasterOfIllusion: Von Rothbart.
* MistakenDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:Von Rothbart tricks Siegfried into declaring his love to his daughter Odile, whom he has disguised as Odette, and so dooms the lovers.]]
* MoralDissonance: How can Siegfried be blamed for breaking his word when Rothbart deceived him?
* MultipleEndings: Quite a few endings have been performed, most of them bittersweet.
** The original ballet has the happiest ending. [[spoiler: Siegfried struggles with Von Rothbart and tears off one of his wings, thereby destroying his powers. Siegfried has broken the spell of the swan maidens and marries Odette.]]
** In another, Siegfried's mistaken pledge of fidelity to Odile consigns Odette to remain a swan forever. [[spoiler: After realizing that her last moment of humanity is at hand, Odette commits suicide by throwing herself into the lake. The Prince does so as well. This act of sacrifice and love breaks Von Rothbart's power, and he is destroyed.]]
** In yet another, [[spoiler: the Prince's declaration that he wishes to marry Odile constitutes a betrayal that condemns Odette to remain a swan forever. Odette is called away into swan form, and Siegfried is left alone in grief as the curtain falls.]]
** One has a HopeSpot. Odette forgives Siegfried for his betrayal and the promise of reconciliation shines momentarily...before [[spoiler:Rothbart summons forth a violent storm, causing the lake to overflow and drown Siegfried. When the storm subsides, Odette is left alone to mourn the dead Siegfried.]]
** Another is a straight up TheBadGuyWins. [[spoiler: Rothbart fights with Siegfried, who is overcome and dies, leaving Rothbart to take Odette triumphantly up to the heavens.]]
** Still another has [[spoiler: the Prince drag Rothbart into the lake, where both drown. Odette is left as a swan, cursed and widowed forever.]]
** Another ending has a PyrrhicVictory. [[spoiler:Odette kills herself, and as Siegfried goes to do the same, Rothbart blocks his way. They fight, with Siegfried victorious, and the other swan maidens break free and trample Rothbart. That done, Siegfried goes to follow Odette into death. His friend Benno fetches his body from the lake]].
** The 1981 anime version has an ending that is played very ambiguously as to whether it's happy or bittersweet, as [[spoiler: Odette and Siegfried could have survived, or it could be their spirits that are seen reuniting in the end. It's styled so that either interpretation is valid.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Prince Siegfried is said to be based on KingLudwigII, the nineteenth century Bavarian monarch often referred to as "the Swan King."
* OnlySaneMan: The Jester, who sees right through Odile's deception.
* PeoplePuppets: Rothbart makes the other swan maidens separate Odette and Siegfried.
* PimpedOutDress: In earlier versions of the ballet, Odile wore a rainbow colored jewel-laden dress to suggest she was an enchantress.
* PleaseWakeUp: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhEjdwOECJE This]] version of the ending has Benno find Siegfried's body and try to revive him, before giving up and carrying him away.
* PluckyComicRelief: The Jester, who is usually left out of modern productions.
* ThePowerOfLove: This can save the lovers, doom them, or both.
* RebelPrince: Siegfried is sometimes characterized this way.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In some productions, Siegfried dies with Odette to atone for his betrayal.
** RedemptionEqualsLife: ...but they are reunited in the afterlife.
* RevisedEnding: Interestingly, the HappyEnding mentioned under {{Disneyfication}} seems to have been the original, but ExecutiveMeddling (or something of that nature) caused it to be changed to the BittersweetEnding accepted today.
* ShapeshiftingLover: Odette.
* StarCrossedLovers: Odette and Siegfried.
* SwansASwimming: Odette and the other maidens.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:Odette and Siegfried at the end]].
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: The Queen Mother, with her insistence that Siegfried marry.
* TheVamp: Odile, though some versions [[HiddenDepths make her more sympathetic]] and thus she becomes a mix of BrokenBird and FemmeFatale instead.
* TheVonTropeFamily: ''Von'' Rothbart.
* WomanInWhite: Odette, of course.
** WomanInBlack: Odile.
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