The Korea Herald


Paris Opera Ballet Gala comes to Seoul with etoile Park Sae-eun

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : July 2, 2024 - 18:22

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Park Sae-eun (Paris Opera Ballet) Park Sae-eun (Paris Opera Ballet)

Ballerina Park Sae-eun, the first Asian dancer to obtain the prestigious title of etoile, or principal dancer, at the Paris Opera Ballet, will head to Korea with her colleagues to perform the "Paris Opera Ballet Etoile Gala 2024” from July 20 to 24 at the Seoul Arts Center's Opera Theater in Seoul.

The lineup includes six etoiles -- Park, Leonore Baulac, Valentine Colasante, Hannah O'Neil, Paul Marque and Guillaume Diop -- alongside four other members of the Paris Opera Ballet.

Park personally curated the program and casting for the performances. She selected 18 pieces from the Paris Opera Ballet's renowned repertoire, which will be presented in two different programs: Program A July 20-21, and Program B July 23-24.

Poster for the Paris Opera Ballet Etoile Gala 2024 (Seoul Arts Center) Poster for the Paris Opera Ballet Etoile Gala 2024 (Seoul Arts Center)

While the gala will showcase well-known pas de deux from classical pieces like "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake," it will also introduce many works that are rarely performed in Korea.

Notably, the program includes the POB's medium-length pieces (approximately 15 minutes each), such as "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude" choreographed by William Forsythe, and "Mi Favorita" (My Favorite), choreographed by Jose Martinez.

Park will perform the "Rhapsody" pas de deux, the "Bedroom" pas de deux from Kenneth MacMillan’s "L'Histoire de Manon" (Manon Lescaut), "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude" pas de deux from Angelin Preljocaj‘s "Le Parc" (The Park) Act 3, Mikhail Fokine’s “La Mort du Cygnet” (The Dying Swan) and the "Black Swan" pas de trois from “Le Lac des Cygnes” (Swan Lake), choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev.

Key works will feature live performances by pianist Sohn Jeung-beum, the first Korean winner of Germany's ARD International Music Competition, and cellist Baik Seung-yeon, winner of the David Popper Cello Competition.