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KNB to introduce Korean beauty through ballet

Poster for “Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa” (KNB)
Poster for “Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa” (KNB)
“Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa” (KNB
“Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa” (KNB

The Korean National Ballet will perform “Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa,” Aug. 21-23 at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul, presenting the life of the legendary poet Heo Nanseolheon.

Heo Nanseolheon (1563–1589), whose real name is Heo Cho-hui, was a prominent Korean poet from the mid-Joseon era. Having left behind more than 200 poems in her name, her works are appreciated to this day.

The ballet “Heo Nan Seol Heon - Su Wol Kyung Hwa,” brings her two poems to stage through body movements, visualizing leaves, birds, lotus flowers, orchids and the ocean – which were often portrayed in Heo’s poems.

Korean National Ballet soloist Kang Hyo-hyung choreographed the 55-minute ballet piece in 2017. Having performed in Bogota, Colombia, in June that year, the ballet became the first show to be staged by the national ballet troupe in Latin America. A few months later, the show was staged in Toronto, Canada.

Kang wanted to create new styles by grafting Korean beauty with classical ballet, according to the state ballet company.

“While using authentic Korean elements, I focused on charming audiences of all backgrounds with the unique aesthetics of Korea,” Kang said.

The ballet show will be backed by a live performance of traditional Korean music, including music composed by late Hwang Byung-ki, a gayageum master.

The music features contemporary adaptation of gugak, such as “Bowing” by geomungo artist Park Woo-jae.

The KNB’s principal dancers Park Seul-ki and Shin Seung-won are to take the role of Heo. Tickets are priced from 15,000 won to 30,000 won.

By Im Eun-byel (