Choreographer: Marius Petipa Lev Ivanov
The terrace of the castle is filled with joy and merriment – Prince Siegfried is celebrating his coming of age, his courtiers congratulate him while his mischievous jester entertains the assembled guests. The servants announce the arrival of his mother the queen, she presents her son with a crossbow for the hunt. The queen reminds her son that at tomorrow coming of age ball he will have to choose a bride. Night is approaching fast and when the guests are gone, Siegfried is finally left alone with his thoughts and premonitions of what the future may bring. In the twilight a flock of swans pass over and he rushes to the lake.
At the lake in the heart of the forest, the swans step ashore and turn into beautiful young girls. About to draw his crossbow, Siegfried stops fascinated by their beauty. Odette the swan princess is startled by Siegfried’s presence, he assures her no harm will come to her. Odette tells him of her terrible plight. She tells him of her high birth and how she has fallen under the spell of being a swan and only in the hours of darkness she is able to assume her human form. She tells him she is bound to be a swan for eternity by the spell unless an unblemished youth swears his eternal fidelity and marries her. Siegfried realizes his destiny has changed. Day is breaking, the swans are swimming again on the lake, Odette bids a sad farewell, Siegfried is left desolate.
The coming of age ball commences at the castle. The young noblewomen whom the Queen has chosen as prospective brides are presented to Prince Siegfried, he shows no interest thinking only of Odette. The entertainment and merrymaking continue and a fanfare announces the arrival of more guests. Wicked wizard Rothbart disguised as a knight sweeps in with his daughter Odille, Siegfried is dazzled by her beauty and her resemblance to Odette. Bewitched and tempted by her charms he swears his love and fidelity to her. Henceforth she is regarded as his bride. Rothbart the sorcerer triumphs in his deception. Siegfried horrified at what he has done rushes from the ball and into the night.
At the lakeside Odette tells her fellow swans of Rothbart’s devilish trickery. Siegfried emerges at the shore begging Odette for forgiveness and swearing his undying love for her. Rothbart is making attempts to separate beloved ones. Siegfried and the forces of good battle with Rothbart until the dawn breaks and the forces of evil are vanquished. The rising sun gives birth to a new life, happiness and love.