Translation of review appearing in the July 30, 1999 edition of the Madrid daily EL PAIS. Author: Roger Salas.
Universal Ballet of Seoul, Swan Lake. Choreography: Oleg Vinogradov. Veranos de la Villa. Patio Central del Conde Duque, Madrid, July 29.
This 'Lake' surprised us; a splendid corps de ballet, united and comparable to any great opera theater; this is not magic, but the work and direct responsibilty of Vinogradov, who has provided in this case a cycle of resurrections of the great repertoire, produced on the opposite side of the globe from where they were originally conceived.
Universal Ballet is a great company. No doubt about it. Strength can be clearly seen in the production and in the beauty of the costumes, along with the refinement of the soloists, able to take on risks and produce virtuosity at the highest level.
That is a good beginning, considering the high level of dance performances we have during the summers in Madrid. And part of the credit also goes to Argentinean guest dancer Maximiliano Guerra, with his noble and serene academic interpretation.
This Oleg Vinogradov version of Swan Lake is perhaps one of the most important produced in the last fifty years. Also with a serious and enormous control of the movements of the corps de ballet, the choreographer adds a modern intelligence, while at the same respecting the great classic interpretation. For example, he has restored the original variation of Siegfried in the first act, and in the last act, there is a true symphonic display in an excellent interpretation of Tchaikovsky's score.
Also, there is a refined and sensitive interpretation of the adagio that the ballerina captured, adding dramaticism that nobly enriches the character and gives, at the end, a romantic sense that is seen in the original, and this quality is displayed throughout the rest of the work.
We can infer that the history of classic ballet in the 21st century, with this transposition towards Asia of the great repertory at this high level, is going to have an enormous significance, and will bring great changes. If in other matters the future is in Asia, perhaps it is also there for ballet. The public warmly received the artists, who gave a lesson in discipline and unity.
Tonight we can see this 'Lake' in Conde Duque, and tomorrow for one day only the Giselle of the same company, also in the Vinogradov version.
For more information on Universal Ballet's activities, contact the company's General Manager, Anne Inoue at UBCKorea@aol.com