Ballet Festival Korea to take place in June

By Im Eun-byel

Classical dance form strives to appeal to broader public

  • Published : May 30, 2019 - 15:02
  • Updated : May 30, 2019 - 15:04

The ninth Ballet Festival Korea is slated to take place from June 18 to 30 at the Seoul Arts Center, introducing 14 ballet recitals from classic to modern.

Since 2011, the annual festival has introduced the genre to a wider audience in an effort to promote the overall ballet scene.

For this year’s event, the Korea National Ballet and Gwangju City Ballet will cooperate with private ballet companies and young dancers.

The opening performance will feature Korean ballerinas who are members of foreign companies, including Anna Jo of the Leipzig Ballet in Germany and Han Seo-hye and Chae Ji-young of the Boston Ballet in the US.

The Korea National Ballet will stage the classic pieces “Mata Hari” and “Giselle.” The shows will mark the last performances onstage by the company’s principal dancer Kim Ji-young.

The Korea National Ballet performs “Giselle” (Korea National Ballet)
The Korea National Ballet performs “Giselle” (Korea National Ballet)

Universal Ballet will present “Imperfectly Perfect,” choreographed by Korean-German choreographer Hue Young-soon, and its signature work “Minus7.”

The program also includes contemporary ballet pieces “Into the Silence,” “The One,” “The Platform 7” and “Le Baiser.”

During the festival, ballet classes for the public and talks will be held.
Poster image for the ninth Ballet Festival Korea (Seoul Arts Center)

Specially priced festival seats cost 10,000 won to 15,000 won ($8.40-$12.60), while regular tickets cost 20,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, visit Seoul Arts Center’s website at www.sac.or.kr.

Meanwhile, ballet has also moved from the stage to the small screen, in a sign that what is often considered a high art form is being increasingly appreciated by the wider public.

For instance, KBS2’s new fantasy-romance drama “Angel’s Last Mission: Love” features actress Shin Hye-sun as a ballerina who loses her sight due to an accident. After three years, she miraculously regains her vision. 

KBS2’s “Angel’s Last Mission: Love” features actress Shin Hye-sun as a ballerina. (KBS2)

The Seoul Ballet Theater advised the TV production crew and its dancers feature on the show.

The musical “Navillera,” which ran at the Seoul Arts Center in May, also revolved around ballet dancers. The plot centered on a man in his 70s who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He learns ballet and becomes friends with a 23-year-old injured ballet dancer. The story was based on a popular web comic of the same name. 

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)