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Jun Joon-hyuk joins Britain's Royal Ballet, its 1st Korean ballerino

All Headlines 18:14 January 11, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- Jun Joon-hyuk will join Britain's Royal Ballet in August, becoming the first Korean ballerino to enter the prestigious ballet company, his family said Wednesday.

His father Jun Yong-guk told Yonhap News Agency by telephone that his son officially got the offer Tuesday afternoon and will join the company soon after he graduates from the Royal Ballet School in July.

Jun will be the second Korean to be accepted by one of the three globally renowned classical ballet companies in the world after Japanese-Korean Choi Yoo-hee, a first soloist, who has been with the company since 2003.

He will be the first Korean ballerino of the Royal Ballet.

The Royal Ballet, founded in 1931, is an internationally renowned ballet company, alongside the Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theater.

Jun studied at the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts and was chosen as a full scholarship student by the Royal Ballet School in March 2014 to become the first Asian to do so. Last year, he performed in "The Nutcracker" of the Royal Ballet Company. It was rare for a student to participate in such a big show.

Only a few of the very best students, one or two in total, are known to be accepted by the Royal Ballet.

In April, he won the top prize at the Youth America Grand Prix, a globally renowned student dance competition, to become the third Korean to achieve the top honor after Seo Hee and Kim Ki-min.

Ballerino Jun Joon-hyuk poses for a photo prior to an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul on July 18, 2016. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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