Black ice on the roads today. It is definitely winter. Time for Swan Lake.
And I so love Uliana Lopatkina. Here she is in an impossibly beautiful and otherworldly interpretation of the Odette/White Swan Pas de Deux [YouTube video] adagio. People often mention her arms and height but I think her head movement and hands are uncanny.
And here is Adam Cooper in the notorious Michael Bourne version, start at 4:10 [YouTube video]. For all of the brash camp and fun in this production, this is a surprisingly human moment whose 'carrying' motif gets echoed throughout and in the final apotheosis. The Swan, as a character, here is made stronger and more nurturing than the classic mournful Odette and in an interesting (and very welcome) reversal, it is the Prince who is in need of saving.
I really like that. But I must admit I still prefer the remote, creaturely Odette by Lopatkina. She's alien and exquisite, and despite her distressed-damsel passivity, she has a certain brittleness and control in her lyricism that makes her believable as inspiring double love suicide and she would have given that (original) tragic finale its massive devastation. And with a style that is as ephemeral and brilliant as ice. For once, the upstaging black swan has got nothing on the white. Odile and her fouettés can't compare (obviously, the Prince is a dolt) and the Bourne-Cooper Stranger is a thug in comparison. Lopatkina is mythic and, finally, Odette becomes a proper heroine for a dark winter's tale. No sugar plum fairies.