Arguably the most famous of classical ballets, Swan Lake, delighted Taunton Brewhouse’s capacity audience over 2 nights. Performed in traditional costume to the music of Tchaikovsky, we were treated to all the drama of Prince Siegfried stumbling across the women transformed into swans by the evil Baron Rothbart, and the trick played on him to betray his beloved.

The principal ballerina tackled the challenging dual role of Odette/Odile with poise and aplomb, with elegance in ports de bras and épaulements as Odette. However she did not differentiate quite enough by characterisation from the menacing and manipulative Odile – not that it spoilt the performance as you have to suspend belief to follow the fairytale anyway. It is traditional for Odile to dance 32 fouettés in succession and, though I didn’t count them, her turning brought a collective gasp of appreciation from the audience.

The real star of the performance for me was the corps de ballet, delivering the spectacle of white froth one expects, serenely and regally united in the adagios. Beautiful character pieces such as the potential brides and their national dance entourages allowed individual members of the corps to shine, with Kozue Mikami’s irresistible charm and sheer joyous energy standing out.

Taunton is extremely lucky to host the youthful Vienna Festival Ballet company flourishing under the artistic director Peter Mallek (who has a pedigree including dancing with Nureyev and Fonteyn), and after this alluring anatine offering I can’t wait to see them again. Whether a ballet enthusiast or seeking an introduction to it, don’t miss them next time.