Inspire Me: Swan Lake or...

Irina Kolesnikova as Odette in Swan Lake. Picture: contributed

Irina Kolesnikova as Odette in Swan Lake. Picture: contributed

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IRINA Kolesnikova, a ‘phenomenon of the ballet world’ comes to the Playhouse this week as Russia’s renowned St Petersburg Ballet Theatre returns to the Capital with their enchanting production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

One of the world’s best loved ballets, Swan Lake is the magical and romantic tale of Prince Siegfried and the Swan Princess Odette, who has been cast under an evil spell by sorcerer Von Rothbart, trapping her and her companions on the lake and only allowing them to become human as night falls.

The only way to break the spell is for one who has never loved to love her, The Swan Princess, and so Prince Siegfried takes it upon himself to break the spell and rescue Odette.

At the Greenside Place venue for three nights only, from tomorrow, Prima Ballerina Kolesnikova will dance the role of Odette in what is undoubtedly the most famous and beautiful of all classical ballets.

Scored with Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable music played by The St Petersburg Ballet Orchestra, the lavish production boasts a company of 55 and has been delighting audiences around the world with their first-class interpretations of the Russian classics.

Swan Lake, Playhouse, Greenside Place, tomorrow-Friday, 7.30pm, £18.90-£54.90, 0844-871 3014

... a Folk Cruise

TRADITIONALLY sea shanties were sung on sailing ships to keep spirits up and boredom at bay as the mariners got stuck in about their gruelling labour. Later this month, however, the singing drifting across the Firth of Forth will be of a very different kind.

The Maid of the Forth sets sail on a Singalong Folk Cruise on September 16, for a three-hour evening sail in the company of Pure Malt, who will provide the live music.

The band, who have been playing on the Maid since 2009, will perform a host of traditional and contemporary Scottish and Irish folk music, with the chance to singalong and make requests.

Duncan Macrae, Maid of the Forth skipper, says, “The Folk Cruises continue to be hugely popular with guests of all ages and the appeal for live Scottish folk music as the sun sets against the iconic backdrop of Edinburgh and Fife has never been stronger.

“Our resident folk band create a fantastic atmosphere, especially when the whole boat is singing along to classics such as Whiskey in the Jar.” Also during the cruise, passengers will have the opportunity to pre-order food from the BBQ (vegetarian options also available) and to enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Cue a rendition of What Will We Do With The Drunken Sailor, perhaps?

So warm up those vocal cords and book today, last month’s cruise sold out fast.

Got a request? Make it Rod Stewart’s Sailing...

Maid of the Forth Folk Cruises, £17 (£23 with BBQ supper), can be booked online at www.maidoftheforth.co.uk or by calling 0131-331 5000