After its season opener “La Bayadere,” the Korean National Ballet, under the leadership of internationally acclaimed ballerina Kang Sue-jin since February, is staging the timeless Tchaikovsky classic “Swan Lake.”
The famous ballet tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. She tries to break the spell with her love interest prince Siegfried, but fails as the prince is tricked by the magician.
Just like its 2012 run of the ballet, the Korean National Ballet is performing a version that was reworked by renowned Russian dancer and choreographer Yury Grigorovich in 1969. Unlike other versions of “Swan Lake,” Grigorovich interpreted the cruel sorcerer as the prince’s dark alter-ego rather than a separate individual.
|A promotional image for the Korean National Ballet’s “Swan Lake.” (KNB)|
The troupe’s four principals, Kim Ji-young, Kim Li-hoe, Park Seul-ki and Lee Eun-won, are sharing the roles of Odette and Odile, while Lee Dong-hoon, Lee Young-cheol, and Lee Jae-woo are playing the prince. The show will be accompanied by the Korean Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Park Tae-young.
Meanwhile, the troupe’s artistic director and famed ballerina Kang has been selected as the recipient of the Order of Merit of Baden-Wurttemberg, the highest award given by the Minister-President of Baden-Wurttemberg, a state in Germany.
The order is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the state in areas of culture, economics and politics. Previous recipients include violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, physicist Wolfgang Ketterle and former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker.
Kang left Korea in 1982 to train at the Academie de Danse Classique in Monte Carlo and joined the Stuttgart Ballet in Stuttgart, Germany in 1986. She has been dancing as the German troupe’s principal since 1997.
“Swan Lake” runs from April 10-13 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. For more information, call (02) 587-6181.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)