K-Ballet looks to cater to all tastes

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 10, 2014 - 20:39
  • Updated : Aug 5, 2014 - 19:31
Inspired to create a dance festival under the premise of showcasing “ballet for all to enjoy,” the Korea Ballet Association is returning with the annual “K-Ballet World” two-week-long ballet extravaganza.

The upcoming festival will be held on select days from Aug. 22 to Sept. 5 and will showcase various short dance programs performed by both renowned principal dancers and young, novices. It will also include productions from Korea’s top ballet companies ― Universal Ballet and the Korean National Ballet ― and a number of notable ballet troupes from across the world including Russia, Austria, Portugal and more.
A scene from the 2013 K-Ballet World. (Korea Ballet Association)

“One of the main purposes of this event is to help Korean ballet become known internationally and to help international ballet become known in Korea,” said Kim In-sook, president of the Korea Ballet Association, during a press conference held in Seoul on Thursday.

In an effort to accommodate the varying tastes of dance lovers and theatergoers, the festival will include performances of both classical ballet and modern dance.

“A lot of the ballets we are doing, it’s not just classical ballet. Rather it’s a mix of contemporary choreography, so I think lots of young people will be able to enjoy it as well,” said dance choreographer Jo Yoon-rah.

Most of the festival’s nightly shows consist of three to four short dance pieces. Some of the performances that will be showcased starting next month include local productions such as “Friendship,” “Persona” and “Shadow 2.”

On Sept. 2, the festival will feature an independent dance production titled “Ballet Project 4050.” The main idea behind this collaborative stage performance was to present short, individual dance pieces that have been choreographed by dancers in their 40s and 50s. The special project will include four productions: “Narcissus,” “Lost Jung-won,” “Two Images” and “Gloomy Day.”

“My ballet is about love, of course, but it is one of those love stories that I feel is necessary to be told through ballet,” said Choi So-bin, the choreographer behind “Narcissus.”

“The piece is only about 16 to 17 minutes long ... although the storyline itself isn’t exactly fun and light, it is a very expressive and moving love story,” she added.

The upcoming 2014 K-Ballet World dance festival will be held at the Korea Performing Arts Center in in Jongno-gu, Seoul. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information visit www.koreaballet.or.kr.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)