A sweltering Seoul welcomes an icy Swan

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A sweltering Seoul welcomes an icy Swan


St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice’s Swan Lake will take place from July 23 to 27 at Sejong Center for Performing Arts. Provided by the organizer

They’re graceful ballet dancers from the waist up.

But from the waist down, they are athletic figure skaters.

Internationally acclaimed St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice will bring its glittering version of the popular classic “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky to sizzling Seoul next week.

The stage at the Grand Theater of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts will undergo a chilling 24-hour facelift and be reborn as a 15 by 15 meter (49 feet) ice rink.

On blades and not en pointe, the dancers will jump, spin and glide to tell the heartbreaking love story of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette.

The basis of the story is an evil sorcerer casts a spell on the princess that turns her into a swan by day.

Since 1967, the ice ballet has performed its productions of classical ballet across Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and South Africa, dazzling audiences with the novelty of a new genre of performing art.

With champion pair figure skater Mikhail Kaminov as the company’s general director, the troupe has racked up more than 6,000 performances

The company is under the direction of former dancer and choreographer of the Kirov Ballet, Konstantin Rassadin.

The award-winning skaters go through painstaking ballet training in order to deliver both the elegant movements of classical ballet and the complex techniques of ice skating.

Whereas ballet dancers are grounded by gravity, ice dancers must defy the pull of the Earth and soar through the air to perform acrobatic twists and turns.

St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice debuted in Korea in 1996.

Swan Lake was chosen to mark the company’s 11th visit to Korea because it is a perennial favorite of locals audiences.

If you plan to see the production, here’s a tip: Take a light jacket or sweater with you.

It will be 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in the audience and between 9 and 15 degrees Celsius on the stage.

St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice will perform “Swan Lake” at the Grand Theater, Sejong Center for Performing Arts in central Seoul from July 23 through 27. Performances will start at 3 and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2 and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost between 20,000 won ($20) and 100,000 won. For reservations, visit www.interpark.com or call (02) 1544-1555.

The show will tour Daegu, Jeonju, Kimhae, Uijeongbu and Hanam in August. For more details, call Seoul Arts Management at (02) 548-4480.

By Kim Hyung-eun Staff Reporter [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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