National Ballet Theatre of Odessa: Swan Lake

It occurred to me that you could keep the choreography for Swan Lake exactly the same and change the story to be about a prince who encounters a magical swan who helps him to realize that animals are people too and sets him on the path towards becoming an animal rights activist. The prince turns down the four princesses because each has livestock as part of their dowry. Von Rothbart is a swan farmer and Odile is actually his daughter who tricks the prince into swearing to protect her father from those in the kingdom who would take away his living. Really, Rothbart makes a lot more sense this way than being some random magician who likes turning young women into swans. I mean, what’s that about? Is he supposed to be some sort of incel misogynist taking his revenge through sorcery on women who won’t date him? And, really, the prince falling in love with a freakin’ swan-lady on first sight is pretty shallow and just a little on the gross side. Unless he’s got some serious bestiality fetish for birds, I don’t think someone that shallow is going to risk his life to fight a wizard who can summon lightening and turn people into animals. He’d be like, “Oh, you’re hot but there are other fish in the sea…or birds in the sky…or ducks in the pond…whatever,” and then go have his way with some serf girl who will be killed if she says no to him because, let’s face it, the reality of feudalism and our romantic ideals aren’t really as compatible as the modern adaptations of the old European folktales may want us to believe. I find it much more believable that the prince became a vegan and tried to keep the swans dancing to Tchaikovsky instead of singing Orff.
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