Swan Lake in concertina form published by Nobrow Press

Based on a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the images are not only inspired by the dramatic story but also the atmosphere of a working dance venue.

Swan Lake is a beautiful concertina book detailing a night at the Ballet. Illustrated by Californian artist Ping Zhu, we see the pristine theatre, audience and performance on one side and the back-stage bustle and nerves on the other. Based on a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the images are not only inspired by the dramatic story but also the atmosphere of a working dance venue. Zhu illustrates the orchestra, the boxes and even the entrance hall and ticket office. Back-stage is a world away from the delicate and precise presentation of front stage – ropes and pulleys, stage hands and prop handlers, seamstresses sewing sequins, ballerinas nervously awaiting their queue, the director signalling and gesturing silently – all in all we are treated to a delightful concertina which anyone with an interest in the performing arts will immediately love. Ping Zhu grew up in Los Angeles and recently graduated from Art Center, Pasadena, USA with a first class degree in illustration. She works as a freelance illustrator and now lives in Chelsea, London. We are very excited to be publishing her first book.

It features the experience of going to the ballet- one side shows the performance while the other shows the backstage. Side story: I obsessively watched the Swan Lake ballet as a child, had a dream of becoming a ballerina, failed at that and became an illustrator instead. In a way, I got the best of both worlds! You can order it from Nobrow site here.

Ping Zhu

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