Kim Hee-kyung’s art from 7 and 3 Dreaming of the day when we fly wondrous… Tchaikovsky and Billy

‘The Art of 7 and 3’ includes the lives of artists who left behind beautiful music and outstanding paintings. 7 and 3 means the 7th tone of doremiphasolasi, which is the ‘three basic colors of light’: red, green and blue. All the work that moves and moves people’s hearts is born from these 7 tones and 3 primary colors. Thinking about how to combine them and display the result is art.

If Season 1, which was serialized earlier, presented the lives and philosophies of artists, Season 2 tells the story of different arts such as classical, fine art, and dance which have been included in films under the subtitle ‘ Cinematic Art’.

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‘Scene’ from ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky. / Medici TV YouTube channel

A concert hall with a large audience. Backstage, a ballerina takes a deep breath. He looks a bit nervous, but he prepares to perform with a more determined expression than anyone else. And finally he runs out on stage and jumps. It feels like a graceful swan in flight.

This is the final scene of Stephen Daldry’s film ‘Billy Elliot’ (2001). Billy, an 11-year-old boy who lived in a small mining town in the north of England, became a great ballerina at the age of 25 and pulled off a performance. Billy overcomes his father’s opposition and extreme prejudice against ballerinas and proudly displays his abilities. The film portrayed this as a scene flying over the stage, giving the audience a great sense of excitement and emotion. Thanks to so much love, a musical of the same name was also made.

The final scene of the film ‘Billy Elliot’.

The film is based on the true story of ballerina Philip Mosley of the British Royal Ballet. Billy the boy is played by actor Jamie Bell. The grown-up Billy, who appeared in the last scene, became a hot topic because he was actually played by Adam Cooper, the principal ballerina of the Royal Ballet.

The music played in the final scene is ‘Golygfa’, the main theme song of ‘Swan Lake’ by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). It is considered the essence of classical ballet music, and it is also representative ballet music that many people love.

‘Swan Lake’ tells the story of Princess Odette, who lives as a swan by day and a princess by night, and Prince Siegfried, who loves him. It was written by Vladimir Begichev, manager of the Mariinsky Theater in Russia, and Tchaikovsky commissioned the music.

The film 'Billy Elliot'.
The film ‘Billy Elliot’.

Tchaikovsky and Billy have something in common. Like Billy, Tchaikovsky was born in the Russian mining town of Kamskovotkinsk. My father was also a mine supervisor. Just as Billy’s father opposed his dream of being a ballerina, Tchaikovsky’s father wanted him to become a lawyer, not a musician. Also, just as Billy went through many twists and turns to become a great ballerina, Tchaikovsky also had a rough life.

The first performance of ‘Swan Lake’, Tchaikovsky’s first attempt at ballet music, was also a major failure. Not because the music is weird. Rather, it became a problem because I liked the music. The reason for the harsh criticism was that music should only be an auxiliary means of ballet, but it was brought to light. Tchaikovsky was shocked when the work he had worked so hard for failed. He even said, “I will never compose ballet music again.”

Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky.

Fortunately, however, he has since changed his mind. Without giving up, he created ballet music one after another, such as ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Maybe it’s because I worked hard with determination again despite a big failure. After his death, ‘Swan Lake’ was also re-evaluated, and is still loved by many people today.

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‘Waltz’ from YouTube channel ‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Tchaikovsky./Operavision

‘Swan Lake’ has been adapted in various versions. Among them, ‘Swan Lake’, which was performed for the first time in 1995 by the British choreographer Matthew Bourne, is famous. The stage that Billy shows at the end of the film is also a version created by Matthew Bourne. His recreation of ‘Swan Lake’ is one of the most popular works in the contemporary dance world. It created a sensation on Broadway in the United States and the West End in England, sweeping the Tony Awards and the Laurence Olivier Awards.

The secret lies in unconventional efforts. Many people think of a slender female ballerina when they hear ‘ballet’. In this piece, muscular male dancers take the stage. The content is also very different from the original. In this work, Odette is not just an object of salvation waiting for the love of the prince. Instead, Prince Siegfried, who had strayed time and again because of his weak personality, becomes the object of her hot longing.

In the film, the role of the adult Billy in the performance is also the role of Odette. The scene where Billy soars vigorously expresses the appearance of a strong swan.

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‘Scene’ from ‘Swan Lake’ newly adapted by Matthew Bourne./Foxtel Arts YouTube channel

As you can guess from the fact that the role of Odette is played by a ballerina, there is a homosexual code at work. Tchaikovsky was also homosexual. He suffered from the social perception and gaze that was negative towards homosexuality. I tried to marry the opposite sex, but in the end I got divorced.

'Swan Lake' by Matthew Bourne.
‘Swan Lake’ by Matthew Bourne.

Tchaikovsky, who had a hard time due to continuous failure and a cold social gaze, but burned his creative soul to the end. Despite difficult circumstances and opposition, Billy continued to pursue his dream of becoming a ballerina. Their stories in music and movies bring great emotion.

Maybe this is the reason why we love and watch music and movies constantly. That’s how masterpieces become the power to live and continue today.

Correspondent Kim Hee-kyung [email protected]

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