Three Colors Across (part 2/3)

After the “unconventionally grotesque” French Giselle now the second edition of this three-part series, an ad-hoc translation of the preview 지젤 三國志 (서울 신문, 2010년 10월 22일). This time it is all about the “spirit of orthodoxy” [정통의 진수] that, according to author 이경원, haunts the production Жизель by the Краснодарского театра балета (Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre) from Saint Petersburg, internationally also known as Kirov Ballet, its former Soviet name:

"Жизель", Mariinsky Ballet, Saint Petersburg (via 서울 신문)

Since modern Russia adapted ballet from France, it did not spare governmental support. As a result, 19th- and 20th-century Russian ballet culture was re-exported [역수출하다] and spread all over the world.

The Saint Petersburg-based Mariinsky Ballet is at the center of this success. Since its foundation in the 1730s, the Saint Petersburg ‘school of dance’ has shaped ballet education. It is a commonplace in the world of dance that the undisputed impact of the Mariinsky Ballet is due to its elegance [무아함] and advanced technique [고도의 테크닉]. Without this company, the equation “Russia is the cradle of ballet” [러시아=발레 요람] would never work out.

After six years the Mariinsky Ballet returns to Korea to show their orthodox version of Giselle. Stressing the well-established formal beauty [형식미] and flow, pursuing uniform movements [균일한 동작을 추구하다], the production fits the spirit of classical ballet. Without any distortions, it is possible to feel the essence of Giselle as it is. The cast includes ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina [Ульяна Лопаткина], world-wide known as “the face of Mariinsky Ballet”, alongside Danila Korsuntsev [Данила Корсунцев].

Guest performances of Giselle (Nov. 9 and 10), as well as Swan Lake [백조의 호수] (Nov. 12 and 13) and a gala show with scenes from various famous ballets (Nov. 14), take place at the Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center (고양 아람누리 아람극장) in Gyeonggi-do. In contrat to the preview, the cast has been changed. Prices range from 30’000 to 250’000 won (more information and booking here).

On a sidenote, ballerina RYU Ji-yeon (류지연), member of the Mariinsky Ballet for over a decade, will make her last entrance as the “Dying Swan” at the gala show and stay in Korea to “look for ways to help students learn what she has learned”.

"Жизель", Mariinsky Ballet, Saint Petersburg (via

As an appetizer a five minute video clip from the Mariinsky-version of Giselle:

To be concluded…

– 22 Oct. 2010 (金)


About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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