Love story or a story of imperfection

On 3rd February my ballet buddy Catherine and I attended the Swan Lake performance by the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Mayflower theatre in Southampton. 
The nearby car park was full. A long, but fast-moving queue led us to the theatre entrance and another to the desk to buy a programme. The foyer was packed with people chatting happily. I spotted many opera coats, silk dresses and velvet jackets and trousers. 
Catherine and I were breathing this air of exciting anticipation. People like love stories and ballerinas, but for me I love the music of Tchaikovsky above everything else. Its amazing ingenuity and divine flow is out of this world. 
The original libretto of Swan Lake presented a romantic story with a tragic end. 
The young Prince Siegfield went hunting and saw a beautiful swan near a mystical lake which transformed into a stunning girl at midnight. That was Princess Odette. She was cursed by the evil sorcerer Baron von Rothbart and became a swan along with her companions. The Prince fell in love with the innocent Princess and declared his forever love to her. 
But the sun was rising and the cursed Princess had to change back to a swan and fly. 
The Prince was truly in love, yet the evil did not sleep. Baron von Rothbart presented his daughter Odile, disguised as Odette, to the Prince at the ball in the castle. The black swan Odile tempted and passionately seduced the Prince. 
This was a game-changer because the curse upon Odette could only be broken if the Prince was faithfully in love with only her. When the Prince realised what he had done, he and Odette jumped into the lake and drowned. 
The audience did not like this ending so the libretto was changed and different shows offer different endings. 
The Birmingham ballet chose the tragic exit. The Prince was forgiven by Odette and they both disappeared into the lake. Their unconditional love lifted the spell from the swans.
The audience in the Mayflower theatre was so captivated by the show that at the crucial moments of the ballet the only sound I could hear was my own breath and the tapping of ballet shoes on the stage.
Swan Lake was performed for the first time by the Imperial Ballet of the Bolshoi Theatre in the 19th century during the era of romanticism. Looking at the narrative through the glasses of the 21st century I feel that this beautiful story is about acceptance. 
Self-acceptance and a true acceptance of people we love. We love to love with pure, devoted and innocent love but we also want to experience passionate, adventurous seduction.
Baron Rothbart is not the external evil, he is actually the inner complexity of Prince Siegfried’s soul and it is up to him to find a way to deal with it. But the first steps are self-awareness and self-acceptance.
We all have light and darkness inside, impulses of destruction and renewal and dealing with these forces is part of human nature. It seems to me that 
The white Odette and the dark Odile live all the time inside our lovers and even though we find it difficult to believe they make the person whole. 
As hard as it is, when we accept that human nature is far from perfect, love becomes invincible and a fact of life.

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