Prince Siegfried finds himself alone in a peaceful spot by an enchanted lake where swans gently float across its surface. While Siegfried watches, he spots the most beautiful swan with a crown on its head.
His buddies soon catch up, but he orders them to leave so he can be by himself. As dusk falls, the swan with the crown turns into the most beautiful young woman he has ever seen. Her name is Odette, the Swan Queen. She informs the young prince that an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, who happens to be disguised as Prince Siegfried’s mentor, has turned her and the other girls into swans and that the lake was formed by the tears of their parents' weeping. She tells him that the only way the spell could be broken is if a man, pure in heart, pledges his love to her. The Prince, about to confess his love for her, is quickly interrupted by the evil sorcerer. He takes Odette from Prince Siegfried’s embrace and commands all of the swan maidens to dance upon the lake and its shore so that the prince cannot chase them.
Prince Siegfried is left all alone on the shore of Swan Lake.