Hanyangian Ballerina Blossoms Korean Dream on World Stage
Champion of IDO, Kim Min-ah (Dance & Well-being, the ERICA campus, 4th year)
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There is an old saying that “ballet is like dreaming on your feet.” Kim Min-ah (Dance and Well-being, the ERICA campus, 4th year) has recently become the dream of South Korea, as she won the 2016 IDO World Ballet and Modern Jazz Championship. It was the first time in history that an Asian ballerina has taken the crown of the IDO (International Dance Organization). Currently, Kim received an Invitation to perform at the IDO World Gala (social occasion with special performances) in Poland. News H met Kim to hear her stories on the life-long desire for contemporary ballet and further hopes to achieve.
Destined dream of ballet
It was in her third grade in elementary school that Kim first became intimate with dance. “All of my school friends were learning jazz dance at the moment. So I followed the trend and joined the club,” laughed Kim. After learning jazz dance for three years, Kim was informed about the beauty of ballet. “Even though I was learning and studying ballet, I felt like I was playing and dancing to the music with joy. That is when I thought ballet might be my destiny,” explained Kim.
Kim was a gifted child with artistic talents. From music and dancing to art, Kim had tried out a variety of artistic subjects. However, the one that always interested Kim was ballet. “All the other subjects bored me out, except for one--ballet. Since ballet costs a lot for lessons, I decided that this would be my goal to dedicate all my passion into for good,” said Kim.
Kim's performance at the IDO 2016
(Video courtesy of IDO)
Kim is now majoring in contemporary ballet which is a genre that incorporates both classic ballet and modern dance. Expressing emotions that Kim felt in certain experiences or events often becomes the main theme of the performance. Usually, the choreographer sets specific dance movements to the music. However, the three minute long gala performance is choreographed by Kim herself. “The piece that I will perform at the gala is about the Syrian refuge crisis. The picture of a small child bleeding in the midst of war inspired me to perform the dance,” said Kim.
Hopes to popularize ballet
Despite her young age, Kim has numerous magnificent, grand titles such as ‘first in South Korea’ or ‘first Asian winner.’ However, with her family and friends rooting for her, Kim is not afraid of the pressure. “When I feel down, I try to walk around the city and empty my thoughts. After reminding myself of how important ballet is to me, and how everyone I cherish cheers for me, I can return to my original position and continue practicing,” said Kim.
The biggest motivation of Kim to pour more ardor into ballet comes from the improvement of her dance. “When I see myself improving through video clips, I feel more energetic and passionate,” explained Kim. However, Kim is also worried that contemporary ballet is not popular among the public, and she feels the duty to convey the beauty of ballet to people. “I think it is also my responsibility to excel at all ballet contests so that I can let more Koreans to be aware of the beauty in it,” smiled Kim.
As a senior at Hanyang University (HYU), Kim is now preparing for a new path for her future. Her current dream is entering a dance company abroad to learn more on ballet in depth. “I was the fortunate girl to find my talents at a young age. I hope all of my fellow friends at HYU will also find the right path and feel the joy in it!”
Kim Ju-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Park Young-min
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