The Korea Herald

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Ballet Festival Korea brings diverse lineup to Seoul Arts Center

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : May 22, 2024 - 14:00

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Korean National Ballet's Korean National Ballet's "Don Quixote" (Korea Ballet Festival)

The 14th Korea Ballet Festival is set to kick off next week at the Seoul Arts Center, boasting a lineup of 12 works, including one special production, three invited pieces and eight selected through open submissions.

A diverse array of ballet performances ranges from classics like "Don Quixote" and "The Barber of Seville" to reimagined literary works such as "Scent of Chrysanthemums" and "The Desolate House," alongside contemporary productions forecasting war and future society.

The event begins with the Seoul premiere of Universal Ballet's original production "The Ballerina" (May 31-June 1), followed by the special performance "Ballet Layer" (June 6-7) at the CJ Towol Theater.

Legendary ballet dancers Kim Ji-young, Hwang Hye-min, Kim Se-youn and Shin Seung-won will come together to perform a pas de quatre, with the artistic direction of Kim Yong-geol, the first male Asian dancer to join the Paris Opera Ballet in 2000.

RHW Liberty Hall’s RHW Liberty Hall’s "Life of Ballerio" (Korea Ballet Festival)
Seoul Ballet Theatre's Seoul Ballet Theatre's "In the Mood for Love" (Korea Ballet Festival)

While "The Ballerina" sheds light on the daily lives of female ballet dancers, RHW Liberty Hall’s "Life of Ballerio" offers insight into the often overlooked aspects of male dancers, showcasing their energetic movements.

Seoul Ballet Theatre's "In the Mood for Love," presented with "Life of Ballerino" as a double-bill, depicts the story of young independent activists during the Japanese occupation in 1919.

The Chuncheon Ballet Company from Gangwon Province will bring the classical ballet "The Barber of Seville," featuring lively music and dazzling choreography, from June 15-16.

The Korean National Ballet will perform "Don Quixote," adapted by dancer-choreographer Song Jung-bin from Marius Petipa's original work, at the Opera Theater from June 5-9.

At the Jayu Theater, six contemporary pieces will be paired as a double bill from June 13 to 23. "Foggy Hajima" addresses environmental concerns, while "Emotion in Motion" delves into the outward expression of human emotions. "Chrysanthemum Scent" draws inspiration from Kim Ha-in's novel, depicting a tale of pure love, while "Metro Boulot Dodo" explores various characters within a subway setting. "Olive" collects episodic narratives centered on the theme of war, while "Bleak Land" critiques societal organizations for their failure to fulfill responsibilities, inspired by Charles Dickens's "Bleak House."

For detailed program schedules, visit the official website of the Korea Ballet Festival.

Poster for the 14th Korea Ballet Festival (Korea Ballet Festival) Poster for the 14th Korea Ballet Festival (Korea Ballet Festival)