SEOUL, Jul. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — As her second endeavor after leaving the stage years ago, ballerina-turned-artist Kim Joo-won turned to tango to expand her career.
Her latest piece, “Tango Ballet 3 Minutes: Su Tiempo,” choreographed by Rye Hoi-woong, combines the two genres with Kim participating as the art director and the main dancer.
“Tango songs are short, lasting about three minutes, but they tell a full story of encounter, love and separation,” Kim, former prima ballerina at the Korean National Ballet (KNB), said in a press rehearsal held at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul on Wednesday.
“Ballet and tango are different, but they are similar as both genres physically express a dramatic story,” she said.
The show tells the love stories of women at a tango bar. It consists of separate scenes of tango-style ballet performed by Kim and Lee Young-cheol, principal dancer of the KNB, and other veteran ballet dancers, while jazz vocalist Woongsan and a tango band perform tango music.
This is Kim’s second work as art director and main dancer following “Marguerite and Armand” staged in 2013. She left the KNB troupe in 2012 to seek new challenges.
“I love tango so much and I’ve wanted to do ballet and tango together for a long time,” she said. “But it’s difficult to tango in ballet shoes.”
The veteran dancer, who won the Benois de la Danse in 2006, said collaboration with artists from other genres gave her energy to stay active even in her 40s.
The Benois de la Danse, held by the International Dance Association in Moscow, is one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.
Kim is one of four South Korean winners — ballerina Park Sae-eun of Paris Opera Ballet in 2018, Kim Ki-min of Mariinsky Ballet in 2016 and Kang Sue-jin of Stuttgart Ballet in 1999.
“I’m no longer a young ballerina, I’m now 43. For the past 20 years in ballet, I’ve trained to learn basic skills of dancing and now I can dance to a variety of musical genres,” she said.
“As an artist getting older, I think I’ve made my dance style that I can put everything in, although I lost challenging techniques used in classic ballet pieces.”
“Tango Ballet 3 Minutes: Su Tiempo” will run from July 11 to 14 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.