My partner in crime and I headed up to Genting on 23 August 2018 for the Golden Gala Premiere of the much-awaited Swan Lake by Ballet West at the Genting International Showroom, Genting Highlands. The show was staged by The Dance Company in collaboration with Ballet West International Touring Company, and the Golden Gala Premiere, which was an invite only opening night (not open to public), which was graced by DYMM Sultanah Pahang Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom.
Swan Lake by Ballet West is Malaysia’ first professional full-UK-cast, full-length ballet performances that foretold the classical tale of Prince Siegfried who, when celebrating his birthday with a royal party, met the beautiful Swan Princess Odette by a lake when hunting; cursed along with other maidens to become swans by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart with a spell can only be broken by a true love. The premiere saw a total of 33 world-class ballerinas from the UK bringing to life the Tchaikovsky’s iconic and timeless classic.
“This production is irreplaceable and it cannot be found with any other Swan Lake production in the world. We are excited and proud that we are able to bring in the first ever full length – full UK cast Swan Lake performance in the world; into Malaysia today! It is our dream to put Malaysian Ballet Industry into the global dance map, and with Swan Lake by Ballet West, I’m happy to say that we are definitely heading into the right direction!”, said Shannon Lee, Director of The Dance Company.
We were totally enthralled by the graceful moves and pirouettes executed by the masterful dancers from Ballet West International Touring Company, as led by soloists Jonathan Barton (Prince Siegfried), Natasha Watson (Odette) and Uyu Hiromoto (Odile) together with other ballerinas from the UK. Barton is a Genee medalist coach while Watson is an actress, a budding choreographer, a Genee medallist and the only British dancer to compete at the Prix de Lausanne in 2015 while Hiromoto is a medalist at the South Africa International Ballet Competition, BBC Young Dancer Finalist, Genee Finalist and the recipient of the prestigious Solo Seal Award.
Honestly, I have never watched a ballet performance ever, barring the odd ballet scene in TV shows and movies. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, however I must say that I was pretty transfixed to what was performed on stage, by the dancers accompanied by the classical soundtrack. There is absolutely no dialogue whatsoever, so it’s up to you to translate what you see into the story line.
Gillian Barton; Founder and Director of Ballet West International Touring Company was quoted saying “This is definitely one of the most technically and emotionally challenging ballet performance and we are glad that we did it and we are grateful to be able to get amazing support from Malaysia to kick-start the Asia Tour!”.
Choreographed by the top ballet master – Daniel Job, the 150 minutes Swan Lake ballet performance (including an intermission between Act 2 and 3) is divided into four (4) key moments comprised of Act 1: The Birthday Celebration, Act 2: Odette’s Story, Act 3: The Matchmaking Party and Act 4: Forgiveness.
The first public show is on 24 August 2018, at 8.00pm at the Genting International Showroom, followed by shows on 25th – 26th August and 31st August – 2nd September 2018. Ticket prices start from PS1 – RM988, PS2 – RM788, PS3 – RM588 and PS4 – RM388, excluding ticket processing fees of RM3.80 and are available for purchase at http://www.rwgenting.com/entertainment/shows/Swan-Lake/.
For ballet students, there is an exclusive Ballet West International Masterclass, conducted by Martin Fenton – a versatile dancer from many disciplines that range from contemporary, ballet and jazz. Fenton, together with ballet mistress Sonia Fajardo, will be at hand to tutor aspiring ballerina 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 now only available on 24th and 30th August at Arena of Stars, Genting.
Photos (above) by Ryan James Davies.
Thanks for having us!
Photo credits: Ryan James Davies for RW Genting/ Milestone Production, and author’s own using the Huawei Mate 10 Pro
As the gala premiere was at night and I didn’t fancy driving down back to Kuala Lumpur from Genting (which can be somewhat dangerous if there’s heavy mist/ fog), we stayed over at the Grand Ion Delemen which graciously hosted us for a short staycation. The hotel is located about 1+km from the RW Genting hotel (at the peak), however the drive takes about 10 minutes from the peak.
As we reached at lunchtime, we had lunch at the hotel’s all day dining restaurant – Kembali Kitchen, and tried the Malay, Chinese and Indian fare. The butter chicken is actually made by a chef from Pakistan and was pretty good! The Nasi Lemak in the Clouds (which is the house specialty) and the Prawn Noodles were pretty decent too!
The hotel room was new (the hotel has only been open for about a year) and decently sized and you didn’t have walk through the bathroom to get to your bed. The bathroom had a separate shower area which was separated by a glass partition, and I was happy to see it equipped with a rain shower system!
Tried the delicious Mediterranean fusion food at Hugo’s in the Sky including the main from the upcoming MIGF 2018 menu by the restaurant which is the Australian Beef Short Ribs with Brie Polenta Croquette and Roasted Cherry Tomato on Vine.
The short ribs were slow-cooked for many hours, resulting in a melt in the mouth texture! The flavourful sauce also went very well with the rich and creamy Brie polenta, while the roasted cherry tomatoes balanced out the dish – preventing it from becoming too cloying.
For more info on the MIGF 2018 menu at Hugo’s in the Sky, head over to http://www.migf.com/restaurant/hugos-in-the-sky/
The Grand Ion Delemen Hotel is located at:
Jalan Ion Delemen 1,
Genting Highlands 6900,
Pahang Darul Makmur,
For more info, head over to https://www.iondelemenhotels.com/
The photos above were shot with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro (except the selfie which was shot with a Huawei P20 Pro). The rear cameras of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are a 20 MP Monochrome + 12 MP RGB, with f/1.6 aperture, OIS (Optical image stabilisation), BSI CMOS. Dual-LED flash. PDAF + CAF + Laser + Depth auto focus, 2x Hybrid Zoom.
There was some minor editing/ post-processing done (brightness and contrast adjustment, cropping) to the photos. To be entirely honest, I’m a very lazy person when it comes to editing/ post-processing photos, and with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, its artificial intelligence (AI) function automatically identifies the scene and adjusts the camera settings to best suit it. Incredibly convenient and it saves me a huge amount of time and effort!
For more info, head over to https://consumer.huawei.com/my/phones/mate10-pro/