Mariinsky Ballet’s Spanish rom-com comes to Seoul

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Nov 14, 2018 - 17:16
  • Updated : Nov 14, 2018 - 17:16

The Mariinsky Ballet will perform “Don Quixote” at the Sejong Center in Seoul from Thursday to Sunday, with ballerino Kim Ki-min and ballerina Viktoria Tereshkina in the lead roles.

The production is Alexnader Gorsky’s version of the ballet, created in the early-20th century. It is a reinvention of choreographer Marius Petipa’s work, which premiered in 1869 at the Bolshoi Theatre.

The Mariinsky Ballet’s Kim Ki-min performs as the poor barber Basilio in Gorsky’s “Don Quixote” (Mariinsky Theatre)
The Mariinsky Ballet’s Viktoria Tereshkina (left) and Kim Ki-min (Mariinsky Theatre)

Gorsky heightened the dramatic expression for his work, in which the corps de ballet has a bigger role. The performers are also more scattered on the stage, rather than strictly following symmetrical lines and patterns.

The narrative is also a little different. In Gorsky’s “Don Quixote,” Cervantes’ main character is all but absent. Instead, the plot focuses more on the tale of two high-spirited young lovers, the poor barber Basilio and the innkeeper’s daughter Kitri.

Starring in these roles are Kim and Tereshkina, who also performed as Basilio and Kitri during the Mariinsky’s summer opening at the Royal Opera House in London. Mariinsky’s bold production of “Don Quixote” -- often regarded as the Bolshoi Ballet’s calling card -- was critically well-received.

Kim, who received the Benois de la Danse prize in 2016, has been a soloist at the Mariinsky Ballet since 2012 and became a principal dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet in 2015.

The ballet performance is augmented by Konstantin Korovin and Alexander Golovin’s Spanish-style costumes, props and set designs, which create a festive mood.

The Mariinsky Orchestra -- one of the world’s leading orchestras led by artistic director Valery Gergiev -- will play the music accompanying the ballet performance -- mostly Minkus with some parts by Drigo and Anton Simon. Conductor Alexei Repnikov will lead the orchestra.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)