It has been a year and a half since I've been in Seoul and what a wonderful welcoming. I placed 3rd in this year's 10th Seoul International Dance Competition.
Margarita Solodova from Russia and I shared the Bronze Medal. Hyun-Hee Sim won Gold and Eun-Hye Kang received the Silver, both girls are from Korea. This was the first time that an American senior girl received a medal at this competition.
As an additional, honor I was invited to perform in the Gala at the CJ Towol Theater in the Seoul Arts Center. I will be performing my contemporary piece set to Hidensmith. It was choreographed for me by Christopher Caines, a NYC based choreographer.
This would not have happened without my amazing coach, Valentina Kozlova. Her finishing touches and attention to detail are unmatched.
In June, I competed in Valentina Kozlova's VKIBC New York International Ballet Competition.
As a Finalist, I was the only American in the Top Five along with a Russian dancer, two Koreans and a girl from Kazakhstan.
In addition, I was awarded Best Academic Training, Certificate of Laureate, and a Ballet del Centro de Conociemento, Misiones, Argentina, company contract for the 2013-2014 Season. I leave for Argentina in February!
Victoria Simon of The Balanchine Trust staged Four Temperaments for Tulsa Ballet Company and I was fortunate to be selected for Phlegmatic.
This was my first George Balanchine choreography. My training is Vaganova and I never learned Balanchine. We did two weekends of performances in March in Tulsa. Great experience! Thank you Vicky for the opportunity.
When I got home in August, I was contacted by, Pam George, a writer for the Signature Brandywine magazine about running a story on my ballet experiences while touring with The Universal Ballet Company in Seoul.
The October issue is the Signature Brandywine magazine's annual Performing Arts issue.
The photo shoot was on of the best ones I have ever done because of photographer, Suchat Pederson. He was very creative and professional and took some amazing photos!
Also in the article the photo's on tour were taken by my boyfriend Jiyan Dai, its kind of his hobby outside of ballet. You can see me when we were on tour in; Moscow, Taipei, Johannesburg, Vancouver, Muscat, and Tokyo. The magazine's Editor, Lucia Blackwell surprised me by selecting me to be on the cover! Click here to read the article!
In May, we toured to Moscow and performed Shim Chung at the Stanislavky Theatre which is right down the street from the Bolshoi Theatre. It was nice to be in Moscow again dancing this time. Five years ago I went with the University of Delaware, to study Russian. I have to say dancing there was an even better experience I hope I will perform in Russia again sometime soon.
In April, we toured Taipei, Taiwan with our triple bill, THIS IS MODERN 2. I performed Jiri Kylian's "Six Dances" in the role of Bibi at the National Theatre of Taipei with Jiyan Dai
It is a gorgeous country. I met his family and did some sightseeing.
I was also priviledged enough to take ballet class every day in China.
In November, over the Thanksgiving Holiday, we left Korea for Muscat, Oman, in the Middle East.
Universal Ballet Company was invited by the Sultan of Oman to perform for the opening season of the Oman Royal Opera House.
We performed Shim Chung - The Blind Man's Daughter. It was my first time in the Middle East. Oman is a beautiful country and I was honored to perform there.
Please see my photo page for an album of my time in Oman!
In July, we left Seoul, Republic of Korea to tour both San Francisco, CA and Vancouver, Canada with the ballet Shim Chung, The Blind Man's Daughter. Shim Chung is quite possibly one of the most famous Korean folk stories.
Shim Chung tells the story of a young girl who cares for her blind father, who in turn is one day told by the Buddhist monk at the nearby temple that the price for a cure for his sight is an extraordinary amount of rice.
Shim Chung, the filial daughter, ultimately sells herself to a merchant ship to become their sacrifice to the Dragon King/Gods for the rice necessary to cure her father. These sacrificed girls jump into the water to appease the storms. Shim Chung does the same, but ultimately -- due to the virtuousness of her character as well as the Dragon King taking pity on her -- she is released to the upper world via a large flower.
The large flower is delivered to the Emperor, and in all slight variations of the story, the flower opens to reveal the girl Shim Chung. The Emperor falls in love with her and makes her his wife.
As for her father, Shim Chung searches for him and finally arrives on a way to gather all the blind men to the palace. She sees him and the tears of joy that she sheds fall upon his eyes and his sight is restored.
We are scheduled to tour Asia, Europe, Russia, Western Canada and San Francisco this year.
We danced over 30 Nutcracker performances this season! Most of the performances were in our home theater, but we did some local touring as well, to cities outside of Seoul. I enjoyed dancing Snow, being a Parent in the party scene, playing the Grandmother, and performaing in Russian.
What a wonderful first season with Universal!
The theatre is gorgeous and I have enjoyed the performances very much. Shades is certainly a challenging dance for Corps dancers! (Photo Right)
In addition to the fabulous performances this year, we have amazing daily ballet classes to continue to strengthen our training.
(Photo left with one of our daily class teachers,Tatiana)
My Paquita variation video was just awarded the Editor's Choice Award for "Video of the Month" by the editor's of Pointe magazine!
Jennifer Stahl, Senior Editor of Pointe magazine, emailed me the good news and told me that my photo and a brief write-up will be in the Oct/Nov issue of Pointe magazine!
And it is! Check it out above and watch the video below!
Delaware's Governor Markell met with me in his office this morning to congratulate me on my contract with the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea. He expressed pride in knowing that the only American in the 73 member ballet company was from his state!
Governor Markell promised to come and see me perform if he is in Korea, he has some Asian trips scheduled in the upcoming
As an Ursuline Academy Alumni, I was invited to participate in their "Alumni Series". I taped my video at Delmarva Broadcasting, and it will run in commercials and as a part of their viral recruiting campaign.
Ursuline Academy is an all-girls school, and I graduated in 2005, as a member of the National Honors Society.
Ursuline Academy provided me with many educational opportunities including the
option to take Advanced Placement classes with college credits.
That opportunity, and those
credits, helped me to
What an amazing summer! I was offered a Soloist contract with Columbia City Ballet at the 2010 IBC competition in June, and a Corps de Ballet contract with Universal Ballet Company at the 2010 KIBC competition in Seoul, in August.
After some soul searching, talking to my family and my Coach, Valentina, I have decided to accept the offer to dance with Universal Ballet Company and will be moving to Seoul, Republic of Korea in three weeks.
Universal Ballet Company has over 100 performances during their upcoming 2010/2011 season. We will be touring Japan and Europe. There are 73 dancers in the company and I know 8 of them from my two years of training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C.
Universal Ballet Company will be performing La Bayadere in November in Japan. La Bayadere is a new ballet for my repetoire and I'm very excited about performing it.
Right now, I just returned from Seoul, South Korea after finishing up the 3rd annual Korea International Ballet Competition.
I ended the competition as a Semi-Finalist, in the Top 8. But the big news is that I was invited by Julia Moon to take company class, and then offered a contract with Universal Ballet Company!
The Opening Gala was on Saturday evening and the first Round of the competition is on Sunday.
I danced Monday night at 7:30PM and danced Diana & Acteon and Don Quioxte Kitri variations. See Kitri photo below.
A rehearsal video of my Diana variation is on my KIBC Experence web page. One of my best friends, and former roomate from the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C., Go Woon, lives in Seoul, S. Korea and has been my guide since I got here! Photo left
I have always wanted to visit Go Woon and it's been amazing to spend time with her.
My other KAB roomate, and one of Go and my best friends, who was born in Seoul, Hee Seo, is coming soon! She was just promoted, this month, to a Soloist with American Ballet Theatre!
Last Oct/Nov 2009, Hee was on the cover of POINTE magazine, and this Oct/Nov 2010, I'm going to be inside, of POINTE magazine with a small photo and mention about receiving the Editor's Choice Award for my Paquita variation video.
On Saturday, May 22, we closed our second season in our home theater, The Grand Opera House.
We performed a 10th Anniversary Gala honoring the ten years that the School of the First State Ballet Theatre has been opened. Paquita was Act I, and I danced the role of Paquita.
The Harmonic 7 dance was choreographed by Matthew Neenan, the Resident Choreographer for The Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, PA.
On the same day as First State Ballet Theatre's 10th Anniversary Gala, my dad directed the Wilmington Grand Prix, a
professional bike race in Wilmington, Delaware.
We took a photo together outside of the Grand Opera House, on Market Street, in front of the advertising sign for the gala with my photo!