PERHAPS it was the season? Or perhaps because one of the popular films now showing is Disney's Enchanted? Whatever it was, it wasn't difficult to get swept away by the fairytale element of Swan Lake.
The Singapore Dance Theatre's production last week stuck to the safe and standard interpretation, even giving the show a happy-ever-after Disney ending.
The story was easily comprehended, helped by the telling of the tale before each act - a digital projection on to a prettily illustrated screen.
Swan Lake is, of course, a ballet classic. And what impressed me was the heartfelt performance of the corps de ballet, which included students, rather than the unexciting choreography.
Most of the sequences with the corps de ballet were executed beautifully, especially that with the white swans, with the principle of beauty in uniformity adhered to. The male dancers deserve a special mention because when they all turned a leg and took a leap, they did so with a precision that would have made a drill sergeant happy.
But overall, and with the classical choreography, Singapore Dance Theatre's first Swan Lake was a bit of a yawn at times, most of all during the first act, when there was too much prancing around the stage to celebrate Prince Siegfried's birthday.
Swan Lake is a tale about a prince who falls in love with Odette, a girl cursed so she turns into a white swan by day and takes on human form only by night. The prince swears true love to her, but at his birthday ball he is tricked by a sorcerer who presents his daughter, Odile, to him. Prince Siegfried inadvertently breaks his promise to Odette, but then he goes to the woods to make amends. There he kills the sorcerer with an arrow, and the white swan is freed from her curse.
Lead ballerina Xia Hai Ying, dancing her first Swan Lake, gave the impression of a fragile Odette, and was nicely paired with Jacek Bres as a tall, dark and handsome Prince Siegfried. Jeffrey Tan infused much excitement into the ballet with his flamboyant dramatisation of the sorcerer Rothbart.
The choreography kept the well-loved dance sequences that are hallmarks of Swan Lake, such as four dancers linking hands and executed some fancy footwork in Act 2, and the swan dances.
In the end, the set, the costumes and the fairytale feel were the highlights of this production, but it would have been better had the choreography made more of an impression than the props did.