Must Go’s: Swan Lake by Ballet West

When I first received an invite from Milestone Entertainment for The Golden Gala Premiere of Swan Lake by Ballet West, I had to reread their email several times due to disbelief. If you have read my previous post, also on Swan Lake, you’ll know that I had learnt ballet eons ago. So being able to attend Swan Lake was a dream come true for me and definitely one of my Performing Arts Bucket List items!

A look at the Stage and Seating from the Top

And with it being held up at Genting’s, the location’s atmosphere set the mood for the anticipated event, complete with cool weather and mist to boot. The Genting International Showroom, where Swan Lake is being performed, is just one floor above the Genting Grand Hotel Lobby, convenient indeed!

A section of the Cocktail Reception

As invited guests, we were treated to a lovely cocktail reception with delicious hors d’oeuvres and freshly squeezed juices or beer. It was a great time to catch up with some of my fellow blogger friends.

Gillian Barton, the Founder & Director of Ballet West, was so hospitable during the reception, stopping at every table to chat with guests as well as pose for pictures. Choy Peng of Choypengism and I couldn’t help but get in a photo of our very own!

[L-R]Ryan James Davies (in the background), Choy Peng, Gillian Barton, and me

No videos nor photographs were allowed during the show, so all stage photos in this post (aka the ones without my blog name plastered on them) are credited to Ryan James Davies, the official photographer for the event. Thank you Ryan!

[L-R]Gillian Barton meeting her DYMM Sultanah Pahang Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom

The performance that evening was graced by DYMM Sultanah Pahang Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom who arrived promptly with her entourage. And right after the audience were seated, the curtains went up and the performance began!

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Swan Lake by Ballet West is divided up into 4 Acts, with 2 before Intermission, and the remaining 2 right after.

Act 1 – The Birthday Celebration

Act 1 starts off with a Birthday Celebration for Prince Siegfried where he is presented with a crossbow. His mother, the Queen, also informs him that he is to be subjected to an arranged marriage as he has come of age yet has not found a bride. The Prince, upset upon hearing his mother’s wishes, then goes off hunting with his friends with his new crossbow.

Act 2 – Odette’s Story

Act 2 is about Odette’s Story and herein enters the White Swan at the lake where the Prince discovers her. We find out that she has been cursed along with some other girls, to be magically turned into swans during the day, and only to reclaim their true human forms at night. Prince Siegfried, entranced by Odette, tries to woo her without success as the curse hangs between them and threatens their feelings for each other. The curse, it will come to be known, can only be broken if Odette finds a man whose heart belongs only to her.

Act 3 – The Matchmaking Party

With Act 3 comes The Matchmaking Party, where Rothbart (the evil sorcerer that cursed Odette) brings his daughter Odile (the Black Swan), disguised as Odette, to the party to ensnare the Prince’s heart in order to keep the curse securely in its place. It works, and the Prince informs the Queen that he has found his lady.  

Act 4 – Forgiveness

In Act 4, the Prince realises that he has been duped and seeks Odette’s Forgiveness. Receiving such, they declare their love for one another and decide to die together, breaking the curse on the rest of the swans, and also on the power Rothbart holds over them. He eventually dies as well, after being overcome by the swans.     

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Natasha Watson

Natasha Watson, playing Odette (the White Swan), was flawless in her execution. With ballet, it is sometimes hard to watch every angle of a performance. Not only were her expressions on point, clearly projecting the mood of the piece, but her feet were most definitely en pointe as well (an observation I made as often as I dared take my eyes away from the performance)! Her leg movements were so precise and detailed, depicting a swan’s movements, that they were worth the price of the seat ticket itself.

Jonathan Barton, who plays Prince Siegfried, too was lovely to watch. Showcasing a principal danseur’s much-needed strength (there were quite a number of long lifts he had to complete) yet never foregoing on the gracefulness of the dance form.

[L-R]Uyu Hiromoto, Jonathan Barton, Gillian Barton

Uyu Hiromoto was equally wonderful in her portrayal of the Black Swan Odile, casting her evil spell on us as the evening unfolded. Her series of pirouettes are not to be missed!

Beautiful backdrop of the lake (complete with mist!)

The vividly colourful costumes and intricate swan tutus were yet another star of the show. With 33 dancers, the performance is definitely a feast for the eyes. The whole cast played their roles wonderfully, bringing Swan Lake to life with such poise and elegance. The backgrounds, although few, were eye-catching, complete with (here comes the Genting element again) mist! And last but definitely not least, Tchaikovsky’s hauntingly beautiful music. It sweeps you up and immerses you in the world of Swan Lake.

Hours went into the making of these intricate tutus

How often are we graced by dance of such calibre, performed by dancers from around the UK!? And so again, THANK YOU, to Milestone Entertainment and The Dance Company, for bringing this mesmerising performance by Ballet West to our shores. It will not be forgotten.

Tickets are still on sale here so don’t miss the chance to be enraptured by Swan Lake by Ballet West.

Show Date
24th – 26th August 2018
31st August – 2nd September 2018
Show Time & Venue
8pm at the Genting International Showroom, Genting Highlands

Must Go’s: Dance Into The Magical World Of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake

Something that most of the people who have met me would never be able to guess is that I used to take ballet classes when I was a little girl in hopes of one day becoming a graceful ballerina. And if you see me now, you’d think the same thing, as I am so NOT slim like a ballerina should be (since your toes need to carry your full weight!). I sadly gave up ballet quite fast as I wasn’t very good at it, but yet, my longing to watch ballet performances has never changed. Just watching movies like Center Stage and Black Swan made me want to regain my ballet feet, but alas, my dedication and diet preferences (I love food too much. Shh…) makes this quite an impossible feat!

And so, when I first caught wind that Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is drifting to our shores, my heart soared with anticipation and an even deeper longing! I once watched a snippet of it during my ballet days and with this being a full-length performance, it is sure to be enchanting! And guess what! It’s going to be held at the Genting International Showroom at Resorts World Genting! Cool temperatures + ballet = Heaven on Earth!

I also grew up watching Disney’s The Swan Princess and remember it fondly. How wonderful would it be to finally see the true story unfolding before my eyes, just the way Tchaikovsky meant it to be seen.

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In 1875, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed Swan Lake, a masterpiece that would be synonymous with his name alongside The Nutcracker. Featuring some of the most beloved pieces in the classical canon, Swan Lake is a spellbinding riveting tale of love, magic and tragedy, chronicling the tale of how Prince Siegfried fell in love with the beautiful Odette while he was hunting by a lake during his birthday. Unfortunately, Odette’s curse by the evil sorcerer Van Rothbart stand in the way of their growing love. 1877, the first Swan Lake ballet premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and it has continued to win the hearts of its audience all over the world for over two centuries. The secret to Swan Lake’s popularity is not just in Tchaikovsky’s genius—it is also attributed to the beauty of ballet as an art form to effectively bring the compelling story of Odette and Prince Siegfried to life.

For the first time ever in Malaysia for their Asia Premiere, a professional full-UK ballet cast is bringing Tchaikovsky’s iconic and mesmerizing Swan Lake to glorious life in a full-length performance at the Genting International Showroom at Resorts World Genting. With six spectacular shows set to be staged from Aug 24th to 26th, and from Aug 31st to Sept 2nd , be ready to marvel at the graceful moves and pirouettes executed by the masterful dancers from Ballet West UK, as led by soloists Jonathan Barton, Natasha Wilson and Uyu Hiromoto together with ballerinas from the UK and all over Europe.

A pioneer in the world of dance, Ballet West UK has been responsible for building numerous success stories in the ballet world for over 28 years! They have a track record of sold out performances in more than 40 cities in UK, Europe and China, including Swan Lake in Scotland, Romeo & Juliet in China, and The Nutcracker in China.

Get ready to be swept along in the Swan Lake adventure in a 150 minute show (including intermission) that will leave you agape at the beauty and grace of ballet accompanied by beloved pieces of musical work. Go on and grab those tickets for this can’t-be-missed show!

 

Ticketing Info

24th – 26th August 2018 & 31st August – 2nd September 2018
8pm at the Genting International Showroom, Resorts World Genting

Tickets Available Here

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And for those who love ballet like I do, another must attend event is an exclusive Ballet West International Masterclass, conducted by Fenton—a versatile dancer from many disciplines that range from contemporary, ballet and jazz. Fenton, together with ballet mistress & professor of applied gymnastics for ballet, Sonia Fajardo will be at hand to tutor aspiring ballerinas longing to turn this art into a lifelong vocation—with helpful tips and showcase to improve your work. Priced at RM585 per masterclass, the masterclasses are available on the 22nd of August, 23rd of August, 24th of August, and 30th of August at the Arena of Stars, Genting.

About Ballet West International Touring Company & The Dance Company

Ballet West is a professional touring company with an outstanding reputation ballet university and with an extensive audience based and extremely high reputation for delivering quality production. The Dance Company and Ballet West International Touring Company is a celebration of outstanding dance talents globally; a start to an exciting and sustainable future for synergising dance into the commercial world

 

Floating Your Way Soon. Are YOU Ready to be Mesmerised by Swan Lake? 

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