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Annual festival to stage ballet recalling Yun Isang's tumultuous life

All Headlines 17:38 May 16, 2018

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- The tumultuous life of renowned Korean-born German composer Yun Isang has inspired a string of concerts at home and abroad. But it has never become the inspiration for a ballet.

The Ballet Festival Korea will stage the Yun-inspired contemporary ballet, "Homage to Yun Isang," during the monthlong run of this year's festival, the event's organizing committee said.

"The composer motivated me to express the drama of his life in ballet moves, as music and ballet are inextricably bound together," choreographer Kim Ji-ahn, who created the dance for the piece, said during a news conference for the 8th festival on Wednesday.

This photo shows Park In-ja, the creative director for the 2018 Ballet Festival Korea, speaking at a press conference on May 16, 2018. (Yonhap)

"I wanted to bring Yun's nationalistic ideology to the stage, as well as his personal philosophy, showing in ballet his 100-year journey back home," she noted. The choreography is set to Yun's major orchestral pieces, Kim added.

In March, the remains of Yun were finally allowed to be buried in his hometown of Tongyeong after he was posthumously cleared of espionage charges in South Korea. The centennial of his birth in 2017 was celebrated with a number of classical and contemporary concerts in European countries and South Korea.

The contemporary piece is one of the 10 ballets to be staged during the 2018 Ballet Festival Korea, which will run from May 31 to June 24 at Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul.

Two of them -- "The Type B" and "Triple Bach" -- are choreographed by famed Korean ballet dancers and choreographers Kim Yong-geol, a professor at Korea National University of Arts, and Kim Seh-yun, a lead dancer at Spanish National Dance Company.

Six others have been added to the program through auditions, including the work on Yun.

The final two -- "Anna Karenina" and "The Love of Chunhyang" -- will be performed by South Korea's two leading ballet troupes, Korean National Ballet and Universal Ballet, according to the organizing committee.

Ballet Chunhyang is a creation of Universal Ballet and fuses a traditional Korean love story with the classical dance form. The company has also been invited to stage the ballet at the theater of Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogota, Colombia in September.

"The fan base for ballet in South Korea is not yet substantial. I hope this festival will expand the landscape and increase the number of ballet fans," Park In-ja, the creative director for the eight-year-old festival said.

This photo shows a press conference announcing details of the 2018 Ballet Festival Korea, held on May 16, 2018. (Yonhap)


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