Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake by Ballet West UK
Live in Genting, Malaysia
Fans of ballet, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake by Ballet West UK which will be showcased to Malaysian audiences for the very first time in Asia!
A widespread and highly technical form of dance, ballet is believed to have originated during the Italian Renaissance and made popular by the King Louis XIV’s court throughout history. Ballet is an artistic dance form performed to music, using precise and highly formalized set steps and gestures.
Classical ballet, which originated in Renaissance Italy and established its present form during the 19th century, is characterized by light, graceful movements and the use of pointe shoes with reinforced toes. Today, the dance form has evolved into a globally influential force and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures. It is precisely this reason why it is so beloved by audiences all over the world and why ballerinas earn respect and awe for their dedication to the prestigious art form.
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 stood in the way of their growing love.
In 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.
SWAN LAKE BY BALLET WEST UK – ASIA PREMIERE
For the first time in Malaysia as well as being an Asian premiere, a professional full-UK ballet cast is bringing Tchaikovsky’s iconic and mesmerizing Swan Lake to life in a full-length performance at the Genting International Showroom at Resorts World Genting. With six spectacular shows set to be staged from 24 to 26 August 2018, and from 31 August to 2 September 2018, Malaysian audiences will get to witness 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.
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 Nutcracker in China.
Behind this production is a team of dedicated, passionate and talented team of 40 people with top ballet master Daniel Jobs; one of the few ballet masters left in the world who has worked with legends like George Balanchine, Margot Fonteyn and John Cranko , and the creame de la creame of the ballet world to come together to produce this show in a span of 6 months.
The dancers of Swan Lake by Ballet West UK go through a series of auditions whereby they were tested in the areas of versatility, strong technique, creative improvisation skills and powerful-presence. “We want to see how the dancers use their movement vocabulary to move and express in the respective roles. Out of 113 that auditioned, we’ve selected 11, to join our existing company, for Malaysia.”, said Daniel Job.
Aside from observing a strict diet, the dancers are required to adhere to vigorous training programs to prepare them both physically and mentally for each of the role they played; and that would means back to back daily full rehearsals throughout training periods that could lasted up to five months.
The other most important elements in a ballet production are the very fine details to costumes. Showcasing only the very best for this production, the costumes in Swan Lake by Ballet West UK are all individually hand sewn pieces. The very best fabrics from Scotland and the US were specially flown to the UK where they were individually hand sewn by the wardrobe mistress; with each tutu costing up to 2000 pounds and will require up to 90 hours to make using around 100 meters of material.
A ballerina’s pointe shoes are yet another important aspect to the production’s costume. As dancers have different type of feet and toe length, arch flexibility and strength, all pointe shoes in this production were customized and handmade in the UK. The shoes are wrapped in beautiful satin and each shoe has a life-span of about 12-15 hours each. The entire Swan Lake Production in Malaysia may go through around 500 pair of shoes.
“Danced in Swan Lake many times, including with the English National Ballet. However being in the Swan Lake by Ballet West UK production is very emotional. Its beautifully choreographed by Daniel Job; a legend, amongst the Scottish Highlands. There are beautiful lochs (lakes in Scottish) surrounding where we rehearse… the character feels real & comes alive. It feels like home. And for us to bring this production to Malaysia, we are truly honoured.” – Natasha Watson; lead cast in Swan Lake by Ballet West UK
Choreographer extraordinaire Daniel Job who also serves as artistic adviser and ballet master for this production, has won awards like the Maya Plisetskaya Competition Russia and his amazing body of work can be found with George Balanchine, Dame Margot Fonteyn, American Ballet Theatre, Geneva Opera, Deutche Opera Berlin, Les Ballets de Marseille and the Royal Danish Ballet.
Rounding up the all-star cast are talents from The Dance Company & Ballet West International Touring Company like ballet master Jonathan Barton and Natasha Watson. The former is a Genee medalist coach while the latter is an actress, a budding choreographer, a Genee medallist and the only British dancer to compete at the Prix de Lausanne in 2015.
They will be joined by Uyu Hiromoto, principal dancer, medalist at the South Africa International Ballet Competition, BBC Young Dancer Finalist, Genee Finalist and recipient of the prestigious Solo Seal Award
The 150 minutes show (including intermission) will be an incredible showcase of the beauty and grace of ballet accompanied by beloved pieces of musical work.
Tickets start from RM388 and are available for purchase at http://www.rwgenting.com
In addition to the show, there will also be an exclusive Ballet West International Masterclass, conducted by Fenton—a versatile dancer of many disciplines that range from contemporary, ballet and jazz. Fenton, together with ballet mistress and 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 techniques. Priced at RM585 per masterclass, the masterclasses are available on 22 August, 23 August, 24 August and 30th August at the Arena of Stars, Genting.
Shucked Oyster Festival 2018
Earlier this year, my partner in crime and I attended the Shucked Oyster Festival at Southern Rock Seafood in Bangsar (which you can read here – https://timchew.net/2018/05/08/events-may-2018/) which featured the semi-finals of the Malaysian Oyster Shucking Championships. We had a really good time indulging in lots of oysters and seafood, along with wine and Guinness draught.
Hence I was pretty excited to attend the media preview of the upcoming (grand) SHUCKED Oyster Festival which will be happening on Sunday, 2 September 2018. The festival is a family-friendly affair, with a wide range of seafood and other premium foods, a well-stocked bar and several bands as well as the finals of the Malaysian Oyster Shucking Championships. Stanley the Clown and a bouncy castle will keep the kids entertained, live jazz music will keep the adults entertained, while graffiti artist Iam May will complete her mega oyster doodle in real time. Some of the other F&B outlets along Jalan Kemuja will also be participating, adding to the carnival atmosphere!
The festival will have on offer some of the world’s finest oysters and smoked salmon, fish & chips, seafood paella, and Southern Rock Seafood’s famous mussels laksa. The healthy omega-3 oils, iron and minerals in the seafood are some notable benefits, while fresh oysters start from RM6 a piece.
Fizly Bin Norazlan – 2017 Malaysian National SHUCKING champion, will be defending his title against a strong field. Fizly represented Malaysia at the World Oyster Championships in Galway, Ireland and the Shuck Off China World Cup in Beijing, China during his championship year.
Renowned Irish oyster grower, Edward Gallagher, will be on hand to judge the shucking (oyster opening) competition and proclaim the 2018 Malaysian National SHUCKING champion. The winner will take home RM1,000 and the chance to compete on the world stage in Ireland and China.
The SHUCKED Oyster Festival is Southern Rock Seafood’s trademark event with the world’s best oysters and seafood in a friendly, bold and cheeky atmosphere. It also builds world-class expertise in the Malaysian food industry by selecting the Malaysian Shucker for the World Oyster Championships in Galway, Ireland and the Shuck Off China World Cup.
Buy your tickets online at https://shop.southernrockseafood.com.my/products/Oyster-Festival/67 for a 35 percent discount on festival tickets – only RM35 each compared to RM55 on the door. Each ticket entitles you to a flight of three oysters and (1) Guinness or (1) glass of white wine to get the party started.
We got to try a few types of oysters including Creuses No.3 from Holland, Cloudy Bay from New Zealand, Tragheanna Bay from Ireland, Irish Premium (also from Ireland of course) and Gallagher Specials which are also from Ireland.
Our favourite would have to be the Gallagher Specials which are grown by Edward Gallagher over four (4) yes FOUR years in wild and beautiful Donegal, where a pristine peaty stream flows into the tidal Tragheanna estuary. which gives the oysters a smooth, mellow and distinct flavour. The oysters are clean with open sea breeze on the nose, and are juicy and plump, bursting with umami flavour, with a sweet finish with hints of minerals.
Goes wonderfully with Guinness draught or white wine. Can’t wait to have more during the festival!
Date: Sunday, 2 September 2018
Time: 12pm – 8pm
Venue: The open air carpark in front of Southern Rock Seafood Kitchen, 32 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
For more info, head over to http://www.southernrockseafood.com