The K-Arts Dance Company Ballet Premiers in Georgia

This week, for the 3rd edition of the Tbilisi Ballet Festival, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater welcomed the much-awaited Korean K-Arts company for the first time as one of its main guests.

GEORGIA TODAY had the chance to talk to the artistic director of the State Ballet, Nina Ananiashvili, about this year’s festival.

“We are so happy with the 2019 Tbilisi Ballet Festival. It opened very successfully with Frederick Ashton’s ballet ‘The Two Pigeons’ and August Bournonville’s ‘Conservatoire.’ It is extremely interesting for us to have the Korean dancers come to Tbilisi. I thank the government for its support and the Opera House for the organization. We had guest dancers from Ukraine performing ‘Giselle’ and we will have the renowned ‘Swan Lake’ with Moscow Bolshoi stars as well as our Tbilisi State ballet ballerinas. To close the festival, the gala will take place on June 30, seeing us welcome Italian dancers from ‘La Scala.’ It is thanks to the Italian Embassy that we were able to invite them. We’ll also have dancers from Chicago, Estonia and Moscow. Do come to Georgia and visit us as well as our State Opera, we are especially welcoming in these difficult times,” the prima ballerina said.

The goal of the festival is to present classical, modern and traditional shows, and the K-Arts ballet perfectly carried out its duties in this regard, presenting 14 short performances in the above genres, both international and Korean.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Sonia Sun Hee Kim, ballet teacher and Dean of the School of Dance of the Korean National University of Arts. “Last year, Nina Ananiashvili invited us to Tbilisi, and we have been preparing for our arrival since. Our K-Arts dance company is 25 years old and it is our first time meeting the Georgian audience. We were expecting a very happy encounter and that is what we got.”

It is always a pleasure to see classical Balanchine choreographies being performed, and the company beautifully presented two of them: one from ‘Tarantella’ and one from Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux.

The dancers were especially impressive for their grace, precision and energy. They also performed ballets from ‘Gayane,’ ‘La Sylphide’ and ‘Carmen.’ The last was especially striking and Seonmee Park, the only dancer on the stage, was able to captivate the public all by herself.

The event was also a unique occasion to discover traditional Korean dances. Each dance featured a special object with which the artists were dancing. The fan is definitely the hallmark of Korean dances and the Hallyangmu traditional dance was particularly fascinating: a men’s dance showing off the traditional elegance, joy and Korean style in which men play with fans. Another special traditional dance was the folk hand drum dance in which women dance and play on small drums called “sogo”.

The Korean contemporary pieces received special appreciation from the public. ‘The White Road’ closed the first part of the show, with dancers gracing the stage in large white dresses, moving in coordination with dynamic and active motion. The ‘Mob’ show closed the night with a very special performance of jerky movement which became trance-like. Dark and experimental, it left a powerful impression on guests, who are sure to remember the happy night the Korean dancers came to Tbilisi for years to come.

By Gabrielle Colchen

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27 June 2019 18:17