Universal Ballet celebrates 30th anniversary with ‘Giselle’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 2, 2014 - 20:37
  • Updated : Jun 2, 2014 - 20:37
One of the most dramatic and classic tales of passion, betrayal and heartbreak is returning to the stage as Korea’s Universal Ballet celebrates 30 years with its adapted rendition of “Giselle.”

Regarded as one of the most well-known and widely performed ballet works of the Romantic era, “Giselle” is the tale of a young peasant girl. After learning that the man she loves has betrayed her, Giselle is hit with a sudden jolt of heart-wrenching grief and dies; yet instead of exacting revenge from the grave, Giselle instead opts to protect her lover from the grasp of evil spirits.
Promotional cuts for Universal Ballet’s rendition of “Giselle.” (Universal Ballet)

The two-act ballet highlights the timelessness of romance and youthful exuberance as well as celestial vengeance and forgiveness. With the ballet’s traditional choreography deriving primarily from the revival by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Universal Ballet Company’s rendition is said to be fairly similar. However, the upcoming production will also feature more recent adaptations made by Russian ballet master Oleg Vinogradov, according to UBC.

UBC first premiered its staging of “Giselle” nearly 30 years ago in 1985. Current UBC artistic director Julia Moon became the first Asian guest principal to ever appear with the Kirov Ballet when she played the lead role of Giselle in 1989. It has been nearly a decade since the last time “Giselle” was staged by UBC in Seoul.

In an effort to revive the time-honored story once again, this year’s production will include a special performance by guest principal Kim Joo-won. The former Korean National Ballet principal dancer will reprise her iconic role as the fragile Giselle for one night only on June 15.

The upcoming performance will also feature UBC principal dancers Kang Mi-sun and Konstantin Novoselov, who tied the knot last month and will appear on stage for the first time together as husband and wife in the leading roles.

“Giselle” will run from June 13-17 at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater. Tickets range from 5,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, visit www.sacticket.co.kr.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)