22 Mar-18 Apr ’23


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

3:25, incl. 2 intermissions


From €25

Swan Lake

The ballet of ballets

Big, full-length classical ballets form an essential part of Dutch National Ballet’s repertoire. Over the past sixty years, the company has presented many successful international productions, but has also produced its own interpretations of the classics. One of the most important milestones along the way was Rudi van Dantzig’s Swan Lake from 1988, which is still regarded worldwide as one of the most beautiful versions of this ‘ballet of ballets’.

Photo: Marta Syrko

The ballet of ballets

For his adaptation of this famous classic, former artistic director Rudi van Dantzig was largely inspired by Tchaikovsky; not just by his music, but also by his letters and diaries. Van Dantzig stayed true to the surviving sections of the ‘standard’ version by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov from 1895, while opting for a less superficial, more human interpretation of the other sections, thus lending his production heightened emotion and expression.


Love and deception

Love and deception are the keywords in Swan Lake. Siegfried, a young prince with the soul of a poet, meets a white swan, Odette, at the lakeside one night. He promises to be faithful to her and thus also to his ideals. Back in the palace, however, Siegfried allows himself to be seduced by the sorcerer’s daughter Odile, who is disguised as a black swan. He realises his mistake too late and, after a poignant reunion with Odette, he drowns in the lake.


Dutch Masters

Just as Petipa received assistance from Ivanov for Swan Lake, so Van Dantzig called on the multi-talented Toer van Schayk. Van Schayk choreographed the colourful folk dances that add lustre to Siegfried’s birthday party in the third act. He also designed the impressive sets and costumes, taking inspiration from the ‘golden’ paintings of the seventeenth-century Dutch Masters.


Choreography  Rudi van Dantzig, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, in cooperation with Toer van Schayk

Set and costumes Toer van Schayk

Music  Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski

Musical accompaniment  Dutch National Ballet Orchestra conducted by Matthew Rowe

The recommended age for this performance is 10+.

Cast list

Please find the dancer cast for Swan Lake via the link below.

Toer van Schayk
Toer van Schayk
Choreography / Set and costumes
read more

Ticket prices

Check out the ticket prices per price category via the link below.

Ticket prices

Standard CJP | City Pass | 
Youth up to 16
Premium € 95,00 € 80,00
1st € 79,00 € 70,00
2nd € 65,00 € 57,00
3rd € 48,00 € 37,00
4th € 32,00 € 23,00
5th € 25,00 € 21,00

Dutch National Opera & Ballet works with a system of dynamic pricing: during the booking period the ticket prices may increase, depending on demand. All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

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Rudi van Dantzig

Rudi van Dantzig

2023 is the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Rudi van Dantzig (1933 - 2012). For over twenty years, he was the artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, which he forged into a united family. His ballets – he choreographed more than forty for the company – demonstrate great social engagement and a perpetual ‘quest for the unattainable’. His most famous works include Four Last Songs, Monument for a dead boy, Onder mijne voeten and his acclaimed versions of the full-length classical ballets Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.

Swan Lake | Foto: Marc Haegeman
Swan Lake | Photo: Marc Haegeman
Het Zwanenmeer | Foto: Marc Haegeman
Swan Lake | Photo: Marc Haegeman
Het Zwanenmeer | Foto: Marc Haegeman
Swan Lake | Photo: Marc Haegeman
Het Zwanenmeer | Foto: Marc Haegeman
Swan Lake | Photo: Marc Haegeman
Het Zwanenmeer | Foto: Marc Haegeman
Swan Lake | Photo: Marc Haegeman

The Story of Swan Lake

In short
On his 18th birthday, Prince Siegfried hears his life as a bachelor will soon come to an end and decides to go on one last ramble through the woods with his friend Alexander. It is there that a sorcerer, in the guise of a bird of prey, summons the swan queen Odette, who assumes a human form. Surrounded by such purity, Siegfried swears his eternal loyalty to Odette. However, when the black swan Odile is among the potential brides presented to Siegfried, he believes she is Odette and offers her his ring. Once he realises that he has made a mistake and betrayed Odette, he rushes back to the lake in desperation ...

Trailer Swan Lake

Swan Lake
Rave reviews
In the media
21 February

This magical, yet dramatic Swan Lake is a must for classical ballet fans and anyone who might become one

26 September

Dutch National Ballet dances the most beautiful Swan Lake. There is no debate about that. (...) Swan Lake by Van Dantzig, with the beautiful design by Van Schayk, has a deeper layer that makes the ballet more than just a fairytale.

26 September

It is beyond dispute that every self-respecting ballet-goer should not miss Swan Lake by Dutch National Ballet. Even 26 years after its premiere, Rudi van Dantzig's version still stands strong, thanks in part to Toer van Schayk's picturesque sets and costumes.

Dutch National Ballet Orchestra

Dutch National Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra’s mission is ‘to inspire movement in dance’. Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience.

Dutch National Ballet Orchestra

Led by principal conductor Matthew Rowe, Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. The orchestra accompanies performances ranging from traditional ballet to modern dance, alongside and is active in music education and talent development.

Besides performances with Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long tradition of innovative – and award-winning – family performances. For instance, Creatures (in collaboration with ISH) received the international Young Audiences Music Award, and the production Hansel and Gretel (in collaboration with Orkater) won various Musical Awards. In these productions, the musicians play from memory, without a conductor and in costumes, so that they form an integral part of the performance. And finally, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long-term partnership with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. They are therefore involved in the music curriculum for pupils and students, facilitate student visits to orchestra rehearsals and provide music for the academy’s end-of-year performance, where possible.

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