SEOUL, July 19 (Korea Bizwire) – Korean dancers working overseas have returned to their homeland to perform this weekend.
In a press briefing Wednesday for “The Korea World Dance Stars Festival 2017,” ballet dancers Kang Hyo-jung, Jin Se-hyun, Lee Ji-young, Jeong Han-sol and Kim Se-yeon agreed that the level of Korean ballet dancers is on par with that of internationally renowned ballet companies.
Kang, who became a principal dancer of Germany’s Stuttgarter Ballet in 2011, told reporters, “It doesn’t really matter where you dance because Korean ballet has improved so much.”
Kim Se-yeon, who works in Spanish National Ballet, recalled Korean ballet’s repertoire was very narrow when she moved abroad, but emphasized it has become much more rich now.
They also all agreed that the perception towards Asian ballet dancers has improved over the past few years.
“I don’t know if it is maybe because of Kang Su-jin but some people seem to think that there is something special about Asian (dancers),” Kang said, adding that she didn’t feel she was discriminated against because of her race. Kang Su-jin is a globally renowned Korean ballet dancer who worked at Stuttgarter and is now serving as artistic director of the Korean National Ballet (KNB).
They shared their lessons they’d learned while working overseas with fellow Korean dancers.
Jeong encouraged them “not to be shy or afraid of challenges” because Korean dancers’ performances are globally recognized.
“If they aren’t afraid of challenges, an overseas stage is always open for them,” the dancer of the Joffrey Ballet said.
The dance festival started in 2001 as a biennial event but has run every year since 2007. The 14th event this year will open in ARKO Arts Theater on July 21-22, featuring not only classic ballet pieces but also contemporary ones.