The world-renowned American Ballet Theatre will perform “Giselle” at the Opera House of Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul on July 18-22.
/ Courtesy of H Entertainment
By Rachel Lee
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT), a star-studded company of ballet dancers, will bring a classic production to Korea in July.
Based in New York, the ABT announced that it will return next month to perform “Giselle” at the Opera House of Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul.
Along with The Royal Ballet in London and the Paris Opera Ballet, the ABT, founded in 1940, is one of the three leading ballet companies in the world. It is known for its artistry, popularity as well as successfully producing performances in a variety of styles.
The ABT’s Korean soloist Hee Seo will grace the stage along with two other noted principals Julie Kent and Paloma Herrera. Seo is the first Korean ballerina to debut at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the role of Giselle, which received praise and great reviews around the world.
“Regardless of location and repertoire, I always strive for the best,” said the Korean dancer on Monday.
She began her ballet career in her home city, Seoul, at the most recognized arts school, the Sun-hwa Arts Middle school. She gained a full scholarship to train at the Universal Ballet Academy in Washington, D.C and the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart. Seo then joined the corps de ballet in March 2006. Her repertoire with the company includes Olympia in “Lady of the Camellias,” Prayer in “Coppelia,” Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” and Princess Florine in “The Sleeping Beauty.”
“This upcoming performance in Korea means a lot to me,” said the soloist, who received the 2003 Prix de Lausanne Award.
“Personally, I would like to dedicate this Giselle to my father who has been too busy with his work to visit New York. He will see my performance with ABT for the first time,” she added.
The ballet is one of the best-loved among Korean fans along with another classic, “Swan Lake.”
“Giselle,” premiered in Paris in 1841, was originally choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and is considered one of the great Romantic ballets with its tale of a young beautiful peasant named Giselle who fights to save her noble lover Albracht.
The ballet revolves around the themes of forest spirits, forces of nature and death. The second act of the ballet, in which everyone wears white, is known as the “white act.”
Having been one of the roles many ballerinas aspire to, “Giselle” requires near perfection in technique as well as outstanding grace and dramatic skills.
“I would describe Giselle as a ballet of great depth,” said Seo. “I work hard to add more depth in my Giselle in every single rehearsal and performance.”
The 2013 performance comes five years after the ABT made its second return with “Don Quixote,” ”Etudes” and “Rabbit and Rogue.” The company made its Korean debut in 1996.
The run of eight performances begins on July 18 through 22. Tickets can be purchased at SAC Ticket, Interpark and Club Balcony. For more information, visit www.abt2012.com.