In The Studio

Exercises & Activities

Discover how we create movement material and delve into the repertoire of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake with New Adventures dance artists - Kerry Biggin, Robin Gladwin, Luke Murphy, Paul Smethurst and Chloe Wilkinson. Our exercises and activities are adapted for GCSE, A Level & BTEC students and those with a general level of dance experience, however anyone can try these at home!

Swan Lake Warm Up

Below are three videos to warm up your body in different ways that introduces Swan Lake ideas and movement language.

  • The general Warm Up uses actions to get your bodies moving whilst getting you to start to think about the movement language of the swans.
  • Flocking is an exercise that encourages focus, unity and a feeling of collective movement like a flock of birds. The dancer at the front of the group leads the movement, as the the movement turns the leader changes.
  • In the Embodying the Swan video the camera acts as the eyes of The Prince, the following actions are used to direct the swans: Proud, Powerful, Attack, Observe, Territorial, Elegant. This exercises allows you to build a relationship between The Prince character and the swans. Take it in turns to become The Prince to discover how it feels.

Act Two Waltz

Learn the Waltz phrase from Act Two adapted for different abilities. 

  • Go to 1:07 for the phrase adapted for GCSE, A Level & BTEC Students
  • Go to 2:40 for the phrase adapted for a General Level

Cygnet Dance: General Level

Learn the Cygnet Dance in Act Two adapted for a General Level:


Creative Task: Swan Entrances

A creative task inspired by the swan entrances at the beginning of Act Two where we are introduced to the three groups of swans - Cygnets, Medium Swans and Big Swans. This video will guide you through how you might create your own Swan Motif based on this section of the show and how you can develop this into group choreography.


Creative Task: The Prince's Bedroom

A creative task inspired by Act Four, where the swans appear in the Prince's Bedroom. Here you'll explore creating movement that reflects the eerie, nightmarish quality and heightened atmosphere of this scene using a set of key words.


Creative Task: Social Dance

Many New Adventures productions, including Swan Lake, make use of social dance to help tell the story on stage, giving a sense of time and place. This video begins with an adapted phrase of the section of movement seen in Act One, Scene 6: A Seedy Club for a general level. It then goes on to exemplify how you can create duets based on this section of the show.


Creative Task: The Swan & Prince Duet

This creative task is based on The Swan & Prince Duet in the waltz section in Act Two of the show. Here you'll create your own duet inspired by what is seen at the beginning of the video.


Creative Task: Maids & Servants

At the beginning of the show the scene is set in the Prince's bedroom at the Royal Palace with the maids and servants getting the Prince ready for the day ahead. Here you'll create a walking pattern with a series of actions to demonstrate the maids and servants going about their duties working with timing and rhythm.

Downloadable Handouts: