Acrobatic Swan Lake

When the princess of the Orient is put under a spell and turned in to a white swan by the Black Hawk King, a handsome prince sails oceans and moves mountains to defeat him in a traditional well told love story. Set over four acts this show holds all the traditional elements of the Swan Lake we know and love but with a fun circus twist. A fusion of classical ballet and the acrobatic arts makes for a fantastic night at the theatre.

The Sadler’s Wells theatre provides the perfect stage for this show, it’s incredibly spacious and the talented cast fills every inch. With a massive female ensemble it’s actually lovely to see them have space to move around, everyone in sync, the lines and formations are mirrored perfectly and the large cast move as one. 

ZHANG QUAN’s choreography is beautiful, every move telling a story. SUN YINA (White Swan) and ZHOU JIE are regal and elegant as they guide us through the show; the chemistry between the two is electric and the main dances are impressive. 

I have to give a special mention to LI TONG (Gull, Hawk King), LI JINYAN (Snake), YAN XINYA and XIE TAO who make up the other double acts. The duel technique and contortion are incredible, the upper body strength and what they can do with their bodies will blow your mind.

The male ensembles provide the comedy and the lighter moments, which lift the piece and gives the audience a giggle. But this traditional tale wouldn’t be what it is without the baddie, GAN HAIYAO (Hawk King). He commands the stage well and gives the much needed grit and substance to the piece. I can’t even begin to imagine how relentless the training is for a show like this. The performers are so flexible and this company is so tight, it’s amazing to see how comfortable they are with each other and the level of trust within the piece, the performers just make it look effortless although they are working so hard.

I would recommend buying a program as this does help to break the piece down and fill in the gaps. At some points I didn’t have a clue what was going on but with impressive partner work, skilled acrobats and dancers, never seen before choreography, stunning costumes and mind blowing tricks you can’t help feeling awestruck by the entire company.

The acrobat and circus elements of the show make the ballet edgier and gives it a modern revamp that will give the traditional Swan Lake a run for its money. Great for the family, and if you want a sophisticated and classy trip to the circus.

This show was reviewed at Sadlers Wells Theatre on the 21st June 2024 where it runs until the 29th June 2024.  Tickets available here: The Acrobatic Swan Lake - Joyway London - Sadler's Wells Theatre (


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