Ballet company enlists celebrity guides

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Ballet company enlists celebrity guides

You are sitting in a ballet theater enjoying the Giselle Pas de Deux from Act II. You smile and nod, finally giving the performance a well-deserved standing ovation as the curtain falls.
But that’s when your 6-year-old daughter tugs at your shirt and asks, what the French phrase “Grand Pas de Deux” means. You freeze.
Don’t blame the kid for being curious.
But it would be nice if there was someone who could answer her question for you. Well, that’s how “Ballet with Commentary” started. At these performances, a commentator stands on one side of the stage giving a simultaneous explanation of what is happening on the stage.
That may sound a bit silly, but its actually educational and fun. In addition to the narration, the speaker shares his or her own experiences of ballet. It seems to be working. The show boasts a long run, attracting a steady audience to its more than 100 performances.
Perhaps one reason for the show’s success is that the Korea National Ballet has been selecting stars and well-known figures to take the role of commentator. So far, actors Yoo In-chon, Kang Seok-woo and Lee Yeong-ha have narrated the ballet performances. Music critic Han Sang-woo and the new Seoul mayor, Oh Se-hoon, have also taken the microphone to talk about dance.
For the next series of performances, musical actor Nam Kyung-joo will be talking about how he enjoys ballet ― from a musical actor’s point of view. Kim starred as the main character in the musicals “I Love You,” “Singing in the Rain” and “Rain.” The commentaries are in Korean only.
This series will feature one or two famous acts from diverse ballets, including Don Quixote Act II Scene 1, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, the La Sylphide Grand Pas de Deux and Le Spectre de la Rose and The Talisman Pas de Deux.


by Lee Min-a

“Ballet with Commentary” will be held from Aug. 9 to 11 at the Goyang Eoullim Theater.
The theater is a 15-minute walk from Wondang subway station on subway line No. 3, exit 4.
Tickets cost from 15,000 won ($16) to 30,000 won.
For more information on the performance schedule, visit the Web site http://joy.joins.com.
For ticket reservations, call 1544-1555.

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