This book introduces today’s Korean ballet with concise yet sufficient, detailed explanation. Today’s ballet is divided into romantic and classical ballet popular during the 19th century and a variety of creative ballet pieces since the 20th century. Ballet of Russia, Europe, and US has long positioned itself. Japan and China started ballet through Russia, yet Korean ballet began through Japan. It is because Korean dancer’s participation in ballet performances started after 1945 when male dancers in Japan began to return home following the nation’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule. Therefore, an establishment of Korean ballet and the globalization of Korean ballet are tasks to be solved.
The brief history of Korean ballet is outlined in chapter one of the book. The chapter covers the primary focus to cast light on the structure and educational system of the current Korean ballet community. In chapter two, major Korean professional ballet companies and their ballet pieces is introduced: Korean National Ballet, Universal Ballet, Seoul Ballet Theatre, and Gwangju City Ballet. In chapter three shows how and in what ways Korean ballet exchange with international ballet: International ballet companies’ performances in Korea, and exchange through International Association, and participation in International Competitions are introduced. Chapter four focuses on the list of Korean ballet stars. The list is a compilation of both celebrated Korean ballet dancers performing actively at home and abroad. Chapter five deals with major choreographers who have performed in the US or Europe and those who received support funds as the recipients of the Creative Cradle program. Chapter six presents the repertoire of major ballet companies in Korea: Sim Chung, The Love of Chunhyang, and This Is Your Life for the Universal Ballet; Prince Hodong and Poise for the Korean National Ballet, and so on.
Until just three decades ago, it was impossible even to think that Korean ballet would reach a world-class lever because of Korean physique, poor ballet education, and little opportunity for watching performances of classical ballet. However, now such a gap of lever has been reduced and if the current kind of atmosphere continues, greater growth of Korean ballet can be expected. Unless Korean ballet dancer’s passion for pursuing greater heights disappears and it continuously requires to combination of accurate mastery over ballet techniques, development of authentic repertoires, and choreography of new creative pieces, Korean ballet will continue to make a remarkable progress.