Top ballerinas to collaborate in ‘Two in Two’

2014-02-20 19:27

Dancers Kim Joo-won (left) and Kim Ji-young. (S.A.Pickup)

Two of the most celebrated ballet dancers in Korea will collaborate onstage for the upcoming restaging of choreographer Ahn Sung-soo and fashion designer Jung Kuho’s 2000 piece “Two in Two.”

Kim Ji-young and Kim Joo-won, who were colleagues and also “rivals” at the Korean National Ballet, will take to the stage jointly with male dancers Kim Bo-ram and Jang Kyung-min. The last time the two Kims collaborated in the same performance was 14 years ago.

Kim Ji-young still remains a principal at the Korean National Ballet, while Kim Joo-won, who also danced as a principal for the company, left the position back in 2012. Throughout their dance careers at the nation’s most prestigious ballet troupe, the two were constantly compared for their different styles.

Kim Joo-won, who currently serves as the troupe’s guest principal, is considered one of the most lyrical dancers in the country, known for her distinctive aura and dramatic flair. Kim Ji-young, on the other hand, has been praised for her superb classical technique as well as her physique, which is considered to be ideal for a ballet dancer.

Yet the upcoming show ― its original title back in 2000 was “Chohyeon” ― does not only consist of ballet. It is a mix of tango and flamenco, as well as ballet and contemporary dance. “Two in Two” will be a rare opportunity to see the two ballet dancers ― who are best known for their roles as Giselle and Odette ― show off their tango and flamenco moves.

Joining the two Kims are dancer and choreographer Kim Bo-ram, who served as a backup dancer for pop singers Uhm Jung-hwa, Koyote and Lee Jung-hyun from 2000 to 2007, and Jang Kyung-min, who also worked as a backup dancer for pop stars before switching to contemporary dance in 2008. Jang and Kim Bo-ram are closely associated with choreographer Ahn, having performed in his pieces a number of times.

Kim Bo-ram and Kim Ji-young collaborated on a small project last year, in which the ballerina danced a piece choreographed by Bo-ram, which required her to wear sunglasses on stage and perform to techno music.

Choreographer Ahn and fashion designer Jung, who first met back in 1993 in New York, have worked as partners on various dance works. Ahn choreographs the pieces, while Jung directs and creates costumes for the dancers.

Their collaborations include the Korean National Ballet’s 2012 modern ballet “Poise,” which happened to be Kim Joo-won’s last performance as the troupe’s principal, and the National Dance Company of Korea’s “Altar,” which premiered last year.

“Two in Two” runs from March 6 to 7 at the Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 40,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300 or 1544-1555.

By Claire Lee (
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