Automata built from LEGO always amaze and inspire me. Growing up, my favorite ballet was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which I had the privilege to see performed by the Bolshoi Ballet at the height of their skill in the late 70’s when they toured Japan. Pixeljunkie has built a LEGO automata with a music box inside that plays the theme from the ballet while a minifigure dancer twirls around the top.
The video showcases the music box feature, as well as the way a group of dancers can also be attached to the mechanism to dance on the stage.
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is iconic. It’s a familiar love story of the White Swan, Odette, and Prince Sigfried. One thing I always thought was amazing was Odile’s fouettés: this is where the dancer spins 360 degrees, on pointe. Odile does them to “steal” the prince, and the original ballerina could do 32 in a row.
In 1995, choreographer Matthew Bourne left his mark on Swan Lake with one major change: the swan’s gender. Odette and the corps de ballet, traditionally danced by ballerinas, was now performed by male dancers. David Hughes has given us this glorious and very recognizable sculpture of the Lead Swan in the classic pose, used by the dancers to imitate some bird-like moves giving grace to the dance.