SWAN LAKE | The United Ukrainian Ballet | Adelaide | 9-13 Nov 2022

swan lake

SWAN LAKE – The United Ukrainian Ballet

Theatre Review

Last night was a truly inspiring performance of Swan Lake by The United Ukrainian Ballet. A classic tale of love, beauty, freedom, and symbolising good overcoming evil, these themes are so apt right now. Reimagined by Elena Glurjidze with the assistance of Sara Knight, the group was formed under the artistic direction of former prima ballerina Igone De Jongh.
In a charming rendition of this beloved ballet, the Principal roles are shared in rotation by Yelyzaveta Barkalova and Kateryna Chebykina as Odette/Odile, and Fedir Zarodyshev and Oleksii Kniazkov as Prince Siegfried. On opening night at the Adelaide Festival Centre it was Kateryna Chebykina who graced the stage in the most exquisite way, radiant as Odette and striking as Odile. While she glides effortlessly on her toes with impeccable poise and performs countless fouettés, it is her arms that are amazingly fluid and I have never seen a ballerina create such swan like movements where usually one’s elbows would be in the way.  Kateryna is totally mesmerising to watch as her skill and passion as a commanding ballerina brings ballet to life. She is well matched with Oleksii Kniazkov who captures the charisma of the Prince with faultless technique in duets and solos.
Pavlo Zurnadzhi is delightful to the audience as the cheeky court jester and is light on his feet as he darts across the stage.  Oleksiy Grishun is in contrast as majestic and intimidating black swan, Rothbart. 
The four act, three interval show showcases the iconic music of Tchaikovsky which many of us would be familiar with at least some parts of it. There is immense talent in every turn with a wonderful Pas de Trois (trio) performance, lively cultural dances and of course the Dance of the Cygnets – with beautiful solos and large ensemble performances all intertwined in a captivating production. The sets are splendid as we are transported from the Grand Palace to the haunting lake. The costumes are opulent with fine details in some scenes while also classically simple and not distracting for others. The vibrant choreography ties the story together, showcasing the agility and flair of all members of the talented United Ukrainian Ballet – it is amazing to think they were formed less than six months ago.
At the curtain call standing ovation, the group come together with Ukrainian flags and sing their national anthem in unison. This is a heart wrenching moment as you can only imagine that they reflect with pride and sadness of their war torn country, many with family still in Ukraine. This shared moment with the audience is the most touching experience and there were many tear-filled eyes in the theatre. Whether you are well versed in classical ballet or been to a few local ballet concerts, or don’t know your pirouettes from your fouettés at all, this is a wonderful theatre performance to enjoy and support.

Their message as written on one of the flags is clear: “Make dance, Not war”

Swan Lake United Ukrainian Ballet

More info about Swan Lake and tickets:

The United Ukrainian Ballet will arrive in Australia this October to perform the world’s most loved ballet, SWAN LAKE. 

The United Ukrainian Ballet brings together award-winning dancers from Ukraine’s finest ballet houses including The National Opera of Ukraine, Kharkiv Opera Theatre and Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre. Each member of the Company has their own story of how they escaped the devastating war in their homeland to reach safety and join the Company. Under the artistic direction of Igone de Jonge, former prima ballerina of the Dutch National Ballet, the Company have been living and rehearsing together since fleeing Ukraine.

From the first immortal bars of Tchaikovsky’s score, SWAN LAKE beckons the audience to another world in this classic tale of good triumphing over evil. Be captivated by Prince Siegfried’s love for the Swan Queen Odette, the unforgettable corps de ballet moving in magical unison, glimmering swans and spectacular ballroom scenes. This glorious tale, performed by such a remarkable company, inspires awe and wonder.

The United Ukrainian Ballet formed after Ukrainian dancers fled their homeland and is based in The Hague, Netherlands, at the former Royal Conservatoire building which was given to the Company to live and work in through the generous support of local business and the Netherlands government.

Show Times:

  • Wednesday 9 November 2022 | 7:30pm
  • Thursday 10 November 2022 | 7:30pm
  • Friday 11 November 2022 | 7:30pm
  • Saturday 12 November 2022 | 2pm
  • Saturday 12 November 2022 | 7:30pm

Final additional 2 shows announced:

  • Sunday 13 November | 1pm and 6pm


Tickets are on sale now starting from $79 – $199. 


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For more information and all enquiries please visit the SWAN LAKE website


When:    9 – 13 November 2022

Where:   Adelaide Festival Theatre | King William St, Adelaide

Who:   Everyone 

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: supplied


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