Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ballet: Swan Lake

Ballets are majestic. Ballerinos and ballerinas have undergone such rigorous training to have fluid and graceful body movement that I sit in awe when I go to a ballet. I'm certainly not an authority on dance or ballet but I have seen ballet transitions in Korea since coming in 1991. Back in the early 1990s I went to a ballet - yes, just a single one, but I was surprised that the movements in the ballet were rather choppy and abrupt. For example, the dancers would make quick arm or leg movements away from the body, pause faintly, and then jerk the appendage back. Several of my colleagues and I were rather surprised that the movements weren't fluid and flowing.
From what I saw years ago and what I'm seeing now in the theater, there are big differences in fluidity and grace. Now, the dancing is gentle, gliding and ethereal.
Another difference I'm noting is that Korean ballet performances employ more dancers than the performances in the the US. I haven't been to many ballets in the states, so am not sure whether this is true or not, but Korea does seem to fill the stage in big performances with a lot of background dancers. This might be because the dance culture in Korea is so popular, even pop stars have large groups of backup dancers dancing, which is kind of culturally accepted for music performances here, so why shouldn't a ballet be profoundly glorious with many graceful background dancers too?
Tonight's performance was Swan Lake. And the swan glided around the lake "singing" her final song. Note the final picture below or the large number of ballerinas, and just imagine them floating around the lake in simultaneous choreographed graceful dance!


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