Posted : 2014-06-30 17:11
Updated : 2014-06-30 18:57

Koreans collect medals at top US ballet contest

Men's Senior gold medalist Jeong Han-sol Sejong University in Seoul, right, acknowledges the applause at the USA International Ballet Competition Awards Gala, in Jackson, Miss., Saturday. / AP-Yonhap

By Do Je-hae

Koreans were a dominant force at the USA International Ballet Competition (UIBC), one of the most coveted events of its kind that concluded Sunday after two weeks of intense preliminaries.

For the first time in the event's near 40-year history, a Korean ballerino, Jeong Han-sol, won the senior men's division, entering a select group of Korean male dancers that have made a mark in international ballet.

The 21-year-old topped 109 contenders from 21 countries. The Joffrey Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, offered him a position with the company for the 2015-2016 season.

Based in Jackson, Mississippi, the UIBC is the largest ballet competition for dancers under the age of 26 and is held every four years. Besides Jeong, who trains at Seoul's Sejong University, Yun Byul of the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) was a silver-medalist in the men's senior division.

Two other KNUA students also won prizes: Jung Ga-yeon was a bronze-medalist in the senior ladies event and Eum Jin-sol a silver medalist in the junior men's segment. Jung also won the Best Senior Couple award with her partner Ha Ji-seok, also a KNUA student.

"The Jackson result reflects the level of Korea's rising status in the international ballet community," Korea's top arts academy said in a statement Monday.

The KNUA has produced several medalists at the event since 2006, when Paris Opera Ballet's Park Se-eun won a silver medal. The best result for a Korean male dancer before Jeong was a 2011 silver medal in the junior event won by Kim Ki-min, a first-soloist at the iconic Marinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. Park and Kim are the only Asian soloists in their respective companies.

Widely known as the "Jackson Competition," the event is among the foremost international ballet competitions besides the Lausanne Competition in Switzerland and Bulgaria's Varna Competition.

Former Jackson medalists have gone on to major companies and have become some of the most renowned dancers on the stage today.

The 1994 senior gold-medalist Johan Kobborg was a principal at London's Royal Ballet until his retirement last year. With his partner Alina Cojocaru, he formed one of the most memorable partnerships in the history of the top British company.
Fumi Kaneko, a rising star at the Royal Ballet, was a junior silver-medalist in 2010.

관련 한글 기사

한국 발레, 미국 잭슨 콩쿠르 석권

한국 무용수들이 세계 4대 발레 콩쿠르 가운데 하나로 꼽히는 미국의 'IBC'(USA International Ballet Competition·일명 잭슨)를 석권했다.

지난 14∼29일 미국 미시시피주에서 열린 이번 대회 시니어 남자 부문에서 세종대 정한솔씨가 1위, 한국예술종합학교 무용원 윤별(20)씨가 2위를 차지했다. 시니어 여자 부문에서는 한예종 정가연(21)씨가 3위에 이름을 올렸고, 한예종에 영재입학한 엄진솔(17)군은 주니어 남자 부문에서 2위를 했다.

한예종 정가연·하지석(22)씨는 베스트커플상도 받았다.

한예종 나대한(22)씨는 수상자 명단에 오르지는 못했지만, 미국 툴사무용단과 조프리발레단에서 입단을 제안받았다.

IBC는 불가리아 바르나 콩쿠르, 러시아 모스크바 콩쿠르, 스위스 로잔 콩쿠르와 함께 세계 4대 발레콩쿠르 중 하나로 꼽힌다.

IBC는 주니어(15∼18세), 시니어(19∼26세) 부문으로 나뉘어 진행되며 비디오 예비심사와 1차 클래식 발레, 2차 현대무용, 3차 클래식 발레·현대무용 심사를 거쳐 수상자를 결정한다. 올해 대회에서는 비디오 예심을 거친 21개국의 109명이 참가했다.

지난 25일 터키 이스탄불에서 열린 '제4회 이스탄불 발레 국제무용콩쿠르 & 페스티벌'에서도 한예종 강은혜(22)씨가 시니어 여자 부문 1위, 이주호(22)씨가 시니어 남자 부문 3위에 올랐다.

이 콩쿠르에서는 러시아, 미국 등 12개국 무용수들이 실력을 겨뤘다. (연합뉴스)

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