The Universal Ballet Company (UBC)
Established in 1984, the Universal Ballet Company (UBC) has continued to entertain the capital with their spectacular performances spanning over 30 years. With a dedicated 70-strong dancing team of performers, the troupe have continued to hone their contemporary choreography into their classical performances, years after year at the capital’s central theater stage and beyond.
UBC, although based in Seoul, has also been on the road and toured more than a dozen countries across the continents of Europe, North America and Asia. Adding a touch of Asian thought and culture to some of the more renowned productions, enjoy a graceful and harmonic addition to some of the best Western classical ballet productions available on the stage today.
UBC is renowned for their talent, and is at the forefront of ballet in Korea. Bringing together the strength and beauty of western classical ballet with traditional European components, the UBC performers has presented classic favorites year after year.
Full length classics to have hit the stage have included Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote as well as more contemporary offerings including William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Hans Van Manen’s Black Cake and Heinz Spoerli’s All Shall Be.
Since the 25th anniversary in 2009, additional productions such as John Cranko’s Onegin and Kenneth Macmillans’s Romeo and Juliet have been added to the show list to vary the annual ballet selection.
UBC has also seen a host of creative and talented directors take to the helm, most notably four American directors in the founding artistic director Adrienne Dellas, and then Daniel Levins, Roy Tobias and Bruce Steival. UBC was also largely influenced by the ballet traditions from St Petersburg, while under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov (the former artistic director of the Kirov Ballet) between 1998 and 2007.
Now, general director Julia Moon and artistic director Brian Yoo work alongside Vonogradov in presenting some of this year’s finest productions. After a successful 2016 which saw production runs including Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake, December sees the annual Yuletide return of the traditional ballet classic, The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker returns to Seoul for their 30th anniversary performance at the Universal Arts Center this winter. First appearing on the capital’s stage in 1984, general director Julia Moon together with choreographers Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Vasily Vainonen prepare to bring the magical Christmas show to life once again this December.
The tale of The Nutcracker is always a holiday favorites. And with a host of life-sized dolls, a Mouse King and toy soldiers gracing the stage, what is there not to like? The children on stage bring together audiences as they travel to their Fairy World. Let the charm and the magic take over the evening and set the Christmas scene – for the next couple of hours at least.
The story starts as the guests are running late to the annual Christmas party, held at the prestigious Judge Siberhaus’ house. Families have been invited to the gathering to celebrate the holiday season as the children are dressed up in their Sunday best and the parents attending bear gifts for all the younger guests.
Judge Siberhaus’ daughter, Clara, is popular with all the other children as her godfather, Uncle Drosselmeyer, is known for his magic. However, he (alongside many others), are running late for the gathering which worries the hosts.
Soon, everyone arrives at the house, as greetings are given, gifts are shared and the games begin. However, Clara notices that an unclaimed – and unwanted – Nutcracker doll rests alone under the tree and claims the toy for herself. Her brother Fritz notices this, and wanting to be mischievous toward his sibling, grabs (and breaks) the doll from Clara. Uncle Drosselmeyer quickly steps in and fixes the doll. Little known to Clara, he has also added a little Christmas magic to the night that awaits her.
The Nutcracker is a delightful tale that brings all those magical Christmas dreams to life, right on to the stage in front of you. Full of fantasy, living toys and adventure, share Clara’s journey into the magical and fantastic world of The Nutcracker.
More info: The Nutcracker
When: Friday 16 December, 2016- Sunday 31 December, 2016
Where: Universal Arts Center, 664, Cheonho-daero, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
Cost: KRW 10,000 – KRW 100,000