Ballett Basel, Seoul Ballet Theatre to perform together in Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : Sep 21, 2015 - 20:12
Updated : Sep 21, 2015 - 20:12

Europe’s leading contemporary dance group Ballett Basel will host joint performances over the next two weeks in Korea with Seoul Ballet Theatre, one of the four professional ballet companies here.

The shows will feature unique choreography spotlighting cross-cultural synergy and artistic synthesis.

The performances, titled “Moves,” will be held at Gwacheon Citizens’ Hall on Sept. 24-25 at 8 p.m. and the National Theatre of Korea on Oct. 1-2 at 8 p.m. 

Ballett Basel performers. Ismael Lorenzo

The project started last year as an artistic collaboration project to mark Seoul Ballet Theatre’s 20th anniversary this year and Ballett Basel’s 15th anniversary next year. 

Ballett Basel founder Richard Wherlock traveled to Seoul in August to work with six dancers from the Seoul Ballet Theatre, which was reciprocated by Seoul Ballet founder James Jeon’s visit to Basel in January, with both working to perfect the choreography and refine the dance moves.

On April 2-3 next year, the project will enter its second phase with a series of performances at the Theater Basel.

“Artistic and cultural exchange provide valuable input to both sides, and are becoming increasingly relevant in our globalized world marked by political strife, economic crises and social turmoil,” Wherlock told The Korea Herald in an interview.

“At such times, art and culture take on a particularly important role of strengthening individual identity and autonomy of entire peoples and states. They can provide creative impulses to the economy, promote new growth and enrich learning around schools and higher education institutions.”

Ballett Basel is regarded as Europe’s front-runner in the field, employing a polyvalent and multicultural ensemble committed to innovating the classical dance. Wherlock, who has directed the company since 2001, has been praised for using his “outstanding command of both narrative and abstract ballet.” The company has engaged in a number of education projects in the Basel region.

Seoul Ballet Theatre, launched in 1995, is Korea’s only professional company with a resident choreographer. Located in Gwacheon City south of Seoul, it was founded by former dancers James Jeon and his wife Kim In-hee. The company also provides education to homeless and disadvantaged children and communities around the world.

By Joel Lee (


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation