With white lace costumes, traditional Korean fans, umbrella skirts and ballet shoes, a host of dancers from the Korean National Ballet, a ballet company founded in 1962, made pirouettes the order of the day.
In a performance held at Siri Fort auditorium, Khelgaon, the dancers performed a four-part ballet repertory on Saturday morning with staccato perfection and graceful movements, in front of close to 1800 school students. The performance was conceptualised by the Artistic Director of the Korean National Ballet, Tae-ji Choi. “Taking inspiration from well-known ballet works from Russia and Italy, we have been merging classical ballet themes with Korean literary and cultural traditions since the ’60s,” says Choi.
The performance opened with a traditional Korean tale titled Princess Nakrang and Price Hodung. Depicting themes of war, love and betrayal, the dancers travelled around the stage in meticulated strokes, while the ballerino swung the petite ballerina around like a totem. The second and third pieces were based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote and La Bayadere (a rare ballet piece set in the Golden Empire of India). The dancers were forthcoming, playful and were joined by a gold-painted idol and a group of nine ballerinos, who performed with drums on tribal beats.
The concluding fourth piece, Giselle Act 2, replicated the dramatic choreography by Patrice Bart, a French ballet pioneer from the Paris Opera, incorporating themes of fantasy with slow, fluid gestures that built up to a grandiose finale. The roars of applause from enthusiastic school children wouldn’t stop as the female lead did her 32 turns (the most accomplished technique for a ballerina) and as the male lead lifted his companion with one hand. “Ballet is a a classic dance form. The movements and techniques are universal, but the soul differs from country to county. We take pride in our traditions, presenting it to audiences on a platter,” said Choi.
The performance will take place today at at Sirifort Auditorium, 6.30 pm onwards. Entry is free. Contact: 9711944516