FOR those readers out there who want an expert, well informed, or even insightful view on ballet, this review of Swan Lake may leave many sorely disappointed.

The infinitesimal amount of knowledge that I possess when trying to bring light on this exquisite art comes from watching the Billy Elliot film on many occasions and seeing it in the theatre too. “Demi-plié and hold.”

Nevertheless, I shall endeavour to give satisfaction, as Jeeves from the PG Wodehouse books would say.

The Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet came to Bath on Tuesday to a packed out Theatre Royal – I couldn’t wait.

Swan Lake, which is completely silent apart from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s stunning musical score, tells the romantic story of Prince Siegfried who falls in love with Odette.

The villainous sorcerer Von Rothbart, however, has used his magic so that Odette and her company are turned into swans during the day, before returning to their human form by night.

At this particular theatre trip, getting a programme is a must as it is difficult to ascertain what is going on during one of the world’s most evocative and best-loved ballets.

A few takeaways. Firstly, the men all wear the tightest trousers I have ever seen. To quote Forrest Gump, “And that is all I have to say about that.”

Second, whenever a ballet dancer does a spectacular routine or performance, handclapping ensues. However, in what is a very alien concept to me, they would then approach the audience and bow, taking in the applause. This made me chuckle.

Thirdly, the grace that the men and women show throughout is something to behold. Much like watching Roger Federer, from an unbiased point of view.

The lifts, the spins, where I feel dizzy by just watching them twirl around, their strength and poise is remarkable.

Balancing on their toes, I shudder to think about their poor feet, and making huge leaps, before landing almost silently, is pretty awe-inspiring.

It is not for the faint hearted, as it is around two and a half hours long, but the music, especially the main theme, gave me goosebumps. 

The play ends it run at the theatre on Sunday.