Kim Junsu’s ‘Death (Tod)’ dominates the stage with his unique presence.
Whenever the Angels of Death with blonde hair and black wings dance their terrifyingly beautiful dance, ‘he’ will appear without fail. His sweet words of temptation with a dreamy whispered melody agitate and pierce through the listener’s heart. Like a devil, while his warm whisper ‘Only I can understand you’ is soaking through your cold and lonely heart, he steals your soul away.
The main focus in the story of musical ‘Elisabeth’ is the character Queen Elisabeth but unexpectedly, the one standing in the background of this story is ‘Death’. Having an unrestrained childhood but after a dramatic happening, Queen Elisabeth of Austria had her freedom snatched away and lived a life of a manipulated puppet. The fate of Elisabeth whose soul was tied up invisibly can be seen as a hanging marionette in a puppet show and the one who controls over the restrained soul of the Queen is indeed ‘Death’.
The composer of the musical, Sylvester Levay explained about ‘Death’ in an interview ‘A charming character who seduces the audience’. In addition, ‘He is so charming that he gives the audience a strong strength to shake off the fear of death.’ Sylvester Levay also shared a touching anecdote ‘There was a girl who was sick and afraid of death but after watching the musical, she gained back the desire to live a happy life.’ Just like what Sylvester Levay has said, the allure of ‘Death’ in this musical is fatal. How to portray such a character which is not human, beast, angel or even devil?! With the feet as fast as a hidden eagle and footsteps as sensual as a killer leopard, he comes closer and stabs his dagger to the vital point of the target.
While a beast moves its body in order to hunt for prey, ‘Death’ and his Angels dance their appealing dance in order to put the target’s forever love into Death’s hand. The fascinating dance between the party who seduces – ‘Death’ and the Angels of Death- and the party who tries to escape – Elisabeth- is paradoxically extremely beautiful and magnificent. Not only Elisabeth but even the audience fell for his dance.
Indefinable appearance is also an interesting point of the multicoloured ‘Death’. Particularly, the songs of ‘Death’ are also filled with various aspects. On the wedding day of Elisabeth and Joseph, he sings “Are you sincere with your choice? Your reverie about him is just an illusion”, then shouts out crazily “The last dance. My last dance. I will dance with you in the end. You are only mine” and shows the insane jealousy of a ‘man who fell in love’. However, while demanding Elisabeth’s son- Rudolf to rebel “What is there to hesitate. You are rescuing the world. Right now, this is fate. Only you can rescue this collapsing world”, he is an ‘evil’ who is playing with the hope of life.
The musical doesn’t build any restriction for ‘Death’. Coming from the depressing sensibility of Elisabeth, his symbolic presence also changes with Elisabeth’s state of mind; one moment, he would fill up her loneliness with love but the next moment, he desperately wants to set free every string of hope. He is a shadow who follows after Elisabeth endlessly. Also, it might be reasonable that he said to Elisabeth “Only I can understand you and give you the freedom”. ‘Death’ is no other than another self of Elisabeth that she invented in order to express the irresistible dark greed.
Being able to meet 3 different actors with 3 different colours of ‘Death’ on stage is another unconventional enjoyment in the musical ‘Elisabeth’. Having different personalities, Ryu Junghan, Kim Junsu and Song Changeui diversely interpret their own charming ‘Death’.
Specially, Kim Junsu’s ‘Death’ has received favourable comment from the audience and dominated the stage with his unique presence. Younger than other two actors, he has given an unexpected charming interpretation in response to the doubts about how he would portray a nonhuman character. Simply as a sensual and manly character, while forming a love triangle with the Emperor Joseph and Queen Elisabeth, he becomes a ‘dangerous being’ which is not woman, man, human or spirit and above that dangerous boundary, he reveals his deadly beauty.
Being neutral in between woman and man, sometimes in whispering high tone, sometimes in low tone, the seducing Kim Junsu goes back and forth in both sides and surprises the audience with his dual voice which creates a clever combination. Not belonging to any particular area, he added his unique sensibility into the bisexual allure of the transcendent ‘Death’ who attracts anything, and revived the appealing character.
Translated by: @SweetieXiah of JYJ3
Shared by: JYJ3
Please do not add to, alter or remove the credits.
Tagged: Elisabeth 2012, Junsu
So proud of Junsu!! He fits the character so much because he isn’t human, he’s from another planet.
agree,his enthiusiasim to make his own special version of death is really enormous & for me he is the best
He is wow, i´m really so proud of him… My boy deserve all the pride ❤
Are you out there?
Such a good critic for Junsu… PROUD!
Everytime i read this kind of reviews i feel like i want to see him…even more than before ;A; *depressed OTL*
ahh Junsu, ur brilliant, magnificent, gorgeous…cant even find a word to describe how amazing you are ❤
“even more than before ;A; *depressed OTL*”
I understand your feels..I’ve already bled my heart (WHINED) about it in the post for the last fanaccount though so ah~ Now i’ll just contain my grief =p
every time i read things like this all i can think is “WAE is there NO DVD?!?!” ARGH! It would sell out in a heartbeat! ~shakes fist at fan-ignoring production company~ GRR!
What I would give to be there. I really wish they would put this musical in a dvd.
why?? why can’t I go to S.Korea and watch this musical!! T___T
wanna watch this musical so badly ^^
he’s right ….. i’m waiting for toddeath to take me in his arms ^^
~ SU COME HERE!!!! ^_________________________^
(Whoa, love that first pic. It’s so intense. And Junsu looks mighty fine in black. Mighty fine.)
Ugh. Everything about this review..It’s even better than the last. So well-written and I just found myself nodding at everything they were saying (even though I haven’t seen the musical lol…and never will =__=). It’s like the writer was just able to pull from all the right words to convey just the right intent.
“His sweet words of temptation with a dreamy whispered melody agitate and pierce through the listener’s heart.”
“Agitate”…Yes..That’s the word. Kim Junsu stirs me up. Completely unsettles me. And leaves me a wreck.
I can so see him lulling Elisabeth, the audience, to their end.
Love the presented analogy of Elisabeth’s life as that of a puppet; a marionette in the hands of Death. Very powerful image that truly captures what is indeed being done on stage.
“Sylvester Levay also shared a touching anecdote ‘There was a girl who was sick and afraid of death but after watching the musical, she gained back the desire to live a happy life.’”
Wow..it wasn’t made specific whether Levay was referring to one of Junsu’s performances or not but either way, this is really touching. Art has such power. This right here is yet only another reminder of why I’m so drawn by it myself, why I desire to pursue a creative field. Art has the ability to impact lives. It’s certainly impacted mine..
“Younger than other two actors, he has given an unexpected charming interpretation in response to the doubts about how he would portray a nonhuman character.”
I can’t say it enough..I’M PROUD!~ The Kim Junsu who fretted over how he’d deliver such a role has come to rise above and beyond expectations. It’s like he’s nailed ‘Death’ in every possible aspect.
Everything about Junsu..his stage presence—exhibiting both that intimidating yet alluring push and pull of Death; his voice, it’s distinctness ranging from high to low—husky and smooth, jarring yet gentle.. “a clever combination”..
“Not belonging to any particular area, he added his unique sensibility into the bisexual allure of the transcendent ‘Death’ who attracts anything, and revived the appealing character.”
Death..this complex concept humanity will never fully understand, and yet Junsu goes strutting about the stage as if some divine power’s imparted to him all its mysteries! As if he’s :gasp: Death itself!!
All because third time’s the charm.
Junsu’s figured it out now. The best way to present his role, the best way to present every role he ever had and those he’ll possibly have in the future, like the best way to do anything he takes on in life, is to do it the only way he can, and to the best of his ability; to give himself completely to it, and not dare hold back.
99.9% of that seemingly impeccable illusion, the staggering stage presence, haunting voice, sensual glares (lol)—all of it!— of Der Tod so lucky (lucky lucky lucky) a bunch are/have witnessing, is nothing more than the ridiculously inexhaustible confidence and effort of Kim Junsu on display. His enjoyment in putting forward every second of it. Real talk.
Lol he’s pwning this role. Pretty inspiring. Pretty fricken cool. Ican’twithhim. al;jckpaaljwpcalscwev
Like everyone’s expressed here, if only I could see it for myself…If not in person, at LEAST on DVD :sigh. deep, eternal sigh.:
such a beautiful review.
Junsu himself already put his soul into this character. so “death” can be a live on stage with his own colour.
thanks @SweetieXiah for the beautiful translation.
More n more. praise for Junsu…. he gives all the best for all his work. so proud that he can do all he can do.
This is such a nice read omggggg ><
Thank you for tanslating XD
Wow! This reviewer really did their homework! I guess seeing Junsu perform Der Tod right before your eyes draws you into his spell^^ which makes Su’s performance all the more masterful, because this person is not a fan. They could be after this review 😀
his neck in pic 1,really killing me…
Tod… transcendent ‘Death’ who attracts anything, allure Kim Junsuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
all of his effort is paid off 🙂 congrats Junsu ah
love this article! love junsu! gosh my heart is going to burst with pride for all 3 JYJ guys. they truly are the best.