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BALLET, MODERN STARS GIVE HEARTS TO SEOUL.

A hive of dance activity hummed inside the glass-walled facade of South Korea's new National University of the Arts, which hosted World Dance 2000 Seoul July 26-30. International dance professionals attended the event, which included two ballet galas, a Korean traditional dance performance, an International Dance Academy Festival, a series of master classes and educational symposia and the Asia Dance Market, a collection of booths and performances. South Korea's contributions attested to a highly skilled, lively and varied dance scene; classical, traditional and modern dance performances were often accompanied by breathtaking lighting and production.

Hae Shik Kim, president of the World Dance Alliance's Korea Chapter, hosted a WDA Asia Pacific meeting, while WDA executive director Carl Wolz presided over an Asia-Pacific Education Committee meeting with international representatives. Two galas held in the claret-toned, 2,400-seat Opera Theater mixed classical and contemporary choreography.

The Seoul audience greeted the dancers enthusiastically. Eunsun Jun and Dragos Michalcea of South Korea's Universal Ballet danced a highly mannered Black Swan pas de deux, while Ji-young Kim and Wonkook Lee of the Korean National Ballet offered a commanding Don Quixote pas de deux. (Both couples were recent medalists at Luxembourg and ParAs.) American Ballet Theatre's Carlos Molina and Washington Ballet's Juhyun Jo lent a breathtaking suppleness to Savannah, a ballet from South African choreographer Ntsikelelo Cekwana commissioned by the Washington Ballet, and Act Three of Giselle. Manuel Legris of the Pads Opera and Simone Noja of the Vienna Opera danced La Sylphide and Roland Petit's Carmen. American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Julie Kent and Angel Corella danced Robert Hill's Beyond Baroque and the pas de deux from Le Corsaire, during which the audience went wild over Corella's fierce attack. San Francisco Ballet principal dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Roman Rykine performed Yuri Possokhov's Magrittomania and won raves for their execution of La Esmeralda.

Former Bolshoi star Irek Mukhamedov, of London's Royal Ballet and Juwon Kim, a Bolshoi Academy graduate and member of the Korean National Ballet, elicited prolonged applause for Petipa's The Talisman and William Tuckett's Where Angels Fly. In a Korean television interview, Mukhamedov remarked that the conference marked the first time he was dancing "with the younger generation with the same schooling and passing along the tradition." He and his partner seemed to relish their contrasting physiques and personalities as much as the audience did. Viewers included Irene Heinen, president of the International Ballet Competition of Luxembourg; Jackson International Ballet Competition jury chair Bruce Marks; former Jackson medalist and juror Jana Kurova; and WDA's European president, Mark Jonkers.

The Contemporary Dance Festival of the Twentieth Century, a three-night affair held at the 700-seat Towol Theater, featured Bill T. Jones, Henrietta Horn, Essen Folkwang Tanzstudio and France's Myriam Naisy Company in mixed bills with six Korean modern dance companies, including the MyoungSook Kim Nuri Dance Company, Park Insook-Jigu Dance Theater and Ae-soon Ahn Dance Company. The Korean selections were divided between handsomely produced evocations of traditional Korean dance and frenetic young hipster movement; high technical and production levels distinguished both.
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Title Annotation:Review; World Dance 2000
Author:Renouf, Renee
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Nov 1, 2000
Words:505
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