Korean ballerino wins Russian competition
Korean ballet prodigy Kim Ki-min won the coveted Ekaterina Maximova Prize (Grand Prix) at the 12th Russian biannual ballet competition in Arabesque, Sunday.
It is his first award as an adult, having garnered numerous honors at junior competitions worldwide, including a second-place finish at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss., and first prize at the Varna Ballet Competition in Sofia.
With this latest triumph, the 19-year-old trainee at the world-famous Mariinsky Ballet Company will be exempted from compulsory military service. The government only allows senior competition winners to skip the two- to three-year obligation.
Kim is the only trainee at the St. Petersburg-based company. He holds this position because full-time dancers are ineligible to compete on the international circuit.
At the time of reporting, Kim could not be reached for comment due to the time difference.
The runners-up were Jung Ga-yeon, another Korean dancer who took the female first prize, and the male first prize winner was Koya Okawa of Ukraine