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Ballet Festival Korea gathers overseas-based Korean dancers for gala shows

Poster image for the 2020 Ballet Festival Korea
Poster image for the 2020 Ballet Festival Korea

The 10th Ballet Festival Korea is to take place June 18-28 at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul, introducing a wide repertoire of ballet works from classical to modern.

The festival was originally scheduled to open June 10 with the Korea National Ballet’s performance of romantic ballet “Giselle.” However, the show was canceled due to the government’s decision to apply stricter quarantine measures in the Seoul metropolitan area starting May 29, leading to the festival opening being postponed.

 
Universal Ballet presents “The Sleeping Beauty” (Kim Kyoung-jin)
Universal Ballet presents “The Sleeping Beauty” (Kim Kyoung-jin)

The revised schedule has the Universal Ballet’s “Ballet Gala & Aurora’s Wedding” June 18-19 opening the festival. The ballet troupe will present highlights from well-known ballet works such as “Swan Lake,” “The Pirate” and the third act from “The Sleeping Beauty.” 

Ballerina Kim Ju-won during tango-ballet “3 Minutes : Su Tiempo”presented at the Sejong Center in 2019 (Park Kyung-il)
Ballerina Kim Ju-won during tango-ballet “3 Minutes : Su Tiempo”presented at the Sejong Center in 2019 (Park Kyung-il)

Celebrated ballerina Kim Joo-won will present “Tango in Ballet: Su Tiempo” June 23-24. The repertoire had its premiere last year at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul, showcasing how two different dance genres, ballet and tango, can go together. The festival deemed the program to be a good example of expansion of the ballet genre.

One of the highlights of the festival is the finale, where 10 Korean ballet dancers from overseas ballet troupes will put on a special gala show June 27-28. Ballerina Kang Ho-hyun of the Paris Opera Ballet in France, ballerina Park Sun-mi and ballerino Han Sung-woo of the American Ballet Theatre in the US and more are to participate in the show, presenting well-recognized ballet works.

Six modern ballet created by individual ballet artists and troupes, are to be featured during the festival. The works were selected through a screening process.

Though the organizers are well aware of the concerns over holding a festival in June, they hope to fulfill public duty, as a state-funded event, to provide a stage for artists and to offer performances to audiences, the organizers said.

The festival is being supported by the Arts Council Korea under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for three years starting 2020.

Audiences must wear masks while in their seats and at indoor facilities. Body temperatures will be checked at the entrances. Audiences will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire and overseas visit records. Hand sanitizers will be prepared. A seat will be left empty between every audience member.

Ticket prices range from 20,000 won to 80,000 won ($16-$66). For more information or reservation, check the festival’s website at www.bafeko.com or the Seoul Arts Center’s website at www.sac.or.kr.

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