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Origin[]

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Zenaida Yanowsky as Odette in a 2007 production of Swan Lake at London's Royal Opera House.

Princess Odette is the lead ballerina role. Von Rothbart's daughter Odile is danced by the same ballerina; this facilitates the scene in which Odile, disguised as Odette, tricks Prince Siegfried into being unfaithful. Odette also appears in many adaptations of the ballet. Odette is an enchanted princess under a spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart; she has been transformed into a swan by day and can only regain her human form at night. She has many companions under the same spell, who have made her their queen, hence her title "The Swan Queen." She is forced to live by a lake that was magically formed by her grieving mother's tears when Rothbart kidnapped her; Rothbart's reasons for kidnapping Odette and enchanting her are unknown in the ballet. The only way for the spell to be broken is by the power of eternal love between Odette and a young man who will remain faithful to her, for if the vow of eternal love is broken, she will remain a swan forever. One day, the young Prince Siegfried ventures upon the lake while out hunting and sees Odette transform from her swan form into her human form. He falls in love with her and she with him and after a night at the lake together, Siegfried vows to love Odette for all eternity. With Siegfried's love, the love of one who has never loved before, the spell can be broken. But all hope seems to vanish when Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Rothbart's daughter, Odile, condemning Odette to remain under Rothbart's power. The only way Odette can be freed now is if she dies, for she would rather die than live without Siegfried and forever as a swan. After giving Siegfried her forgiveness, he declares that he will die with her. When Rothbart appears, Odette throws herself into the lake and Siegfried follows her. In the climax of their sacrifice, Rothbart's powers are destroyed and the spell is finally broken; Odette's companions are freed from the enchantment. As the sun rises, Siegfried and Odette ascend into Heaven together, united in love for all eternity.

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