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Renowned ballet dancer Kim Ki-min to dazzle Seoul

Kim Ki-min (center) as Aminta in the ballet “Sylvia” (Mariinsky Theatre)
Kim Ki-min (center) as Aminta in the ballet “Sylvia” (Mariinsky Theatre)
World-class ballet dancer Kim Ki-min from Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet has returned for performances in Korea for the first time in four years.

The principal dancer of the prestigious Russian ballet troupe will perform with 18 other dancers from international ballet companies at the “Ballet Supreme 2022” taking place at the National Theater in Seoul, from Thursday to Saturday.

Current and former ballet dancers who are members of overseas companies such as the Royal Ballet of England, the Berlin State Ballet and the Stuttgart Ballet from Germany, and the American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet will go on stage to perform the most celebrated solo or duet dance excerpts of classic ballet works.

Kim will perform pieces of grand pas de deux, a dance duet in which two principal dancers perform ballet steps together. Kim’s partner will be Marianela Nunez, a principal dancer from the Royal Ballet, London. Kim and Nunez performed together at Kim’s first solo recital in 2019 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
 
Kim Ki-min (left) as Basilio in the ballet “Don Quixote” (Mariinsky Theatre)
Kim Ki-min (left) as Basilio in the ballet “Don Quixote” (Mariinsky Theatre)

At the gala, the two will perform duets from “Le Corsaire (The Pirate),” a ballet piece loosely based on Lord Byron’s poem “The Corsair” on Thursday and Friday, and duets from “Don Quixote” on Saturday.

“Le Corsaire” depicts the story of a pirate named Conrad on a mission to rescue his beloved from the hands of a slave trader; “Don Quixote,” based on episodes from Miguel de Cervantes’ novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” centers on the journey of a knight named Don Quixote.

Other programs include iconic pieces from “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

Kim was scheduled to perform as Solor in the Korean National Ballet’s “La Bayadere” last year, but the engagement was canceled due to the pandemic. The last time he performed in Korea was in “Don Quixote” with the Mariinsky Ballet in November 2018.

Kim Ki-min (Seoul Concert Management)
Kim Ki-min (Seoul Concert Management)

Kim became the first Asian dancer to join the Mariinsky Ballet in 2011. In 2012, he made his debut as Ali in “Le Corsaire,” just one month after joining the troupe. He was promoted to the company’s principal dancer in 2015, the youngest to hold the role at age 23. There are about 270 dancers in the Mariinsky Ballet, and 13 are named as principal dancers.

Kim was also the first Korean ballet dancer to win the best male dancer at the prestigious ballet competition Benois de la Danse in 2016.

Kim, who had his solo recitals at Mariinsky Theatre in 2019 and 2021, will open his next season at the Mariinsky Ballet with “Marguerite and Armand” and “Leningrad Symphony.”

By Hwang Dong-Hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)
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