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Culture

Current and classic meet at the Ballet Festival Korea

May 28,2018
“The type B” by the ballet company Kim Yong-geol Dance Theater will open this year’s Ballet Festival Korea on May 31. [SEOUL ARTS CENTER]
At the 2018 Ballet Festival Korea, choreographers are ready to share their stories through the medium of dance. Classical, modern and creative new ballets will be on offer at the festival, which runs from May 31 to June 24.

This year marks the eighth anniversary of Ballet Festival Korea. The festival’s 2018 edition will feature different performances from 10 local ballet companies. This year’s festival is hoping to really perk the interest of the public in ballet by offering the audience a chance to speak with the dancers and also take ballet lessons.

Audience members who attend performances at the Seoul Arts Center’s Jayu Theater will have the opportunity to communicate with the performers right after the show.

The festival will also offer ballet classes for the general public. An advanced ballet class will be offered for adults on May 26, and a beginner to intermediate class will be available on May 27. On June 2, there will be two different classes - a ballet class for students from third grade to seniors in high school and a special rehabilitation class.

The festival will kick off with a performance from renowned choreographer Kim Yong-geol, who has been a part of Ballet Festival Korea since its beginning.

Kim’s “The type B” is a performance that portrays the choreographer’s “true self” as well as his passion for ballet.

“The technique, the movement and the story are all my own, and I wanted to portray my own self as a dancer without showing an extravagantly laid-out performance,” said Kim.

Choreographer Kim Seh-yun will set her ballet to J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, 3, 4 and 6.

“Bach is one of my favorite composers, and I wanted to center the performance on the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 with an adagio of different dancers,” said Kim. It’s Kim’s second year as a choreographer at the festival.

Following the first two performances are classic acts from Korea’s top ballet companies - the Korean National Ballet and Universal Ballet. The Korean National Ballet will perform “Anna Karenina” and Universal Ballet will perform “The Love of Chunhyang,” which merges the traditional Korean folk love story of Chunhyang with Tchaikovsky’s songs to create a dramatic ballet performance.

The festival will close with a strong and emotional performance choreographed by Yoon Jeon-il. His work is titled “Love is merely madness,” and it portrays the story of a woman with a terminal illness and a man who passionately loves her without realizing how sick she is.

There will be many events throughout the festival, such as open rehearsals and photo sessions with the dancers.

BY SUNG JI-EUN [sung.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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