[Review] Korea Festival in Asia: Korean National Ballet in Laos and Cambodia
To kick off the Korea Festival in Asia, the KF and the Korean National Ballet hosted gala performances in Laos and Cambodia on May 17 and May 19. The KF organized this event to present Korean culture from a different perspective to Laotian and Cambodian audiences, who are more familiar with K-pop groups, such as Big Bang and Girls’ Generation, and TV dramas like My Name Is Kim Sam-soon and Dae Jang Geum.
The Korean National Ballet offered Laotians their first ballet performance since the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and elicited appreciative applause throughout the 75-minute program of dramatic choreography. Several attendees exclaimed that they were so completely mesmerized during the beautiful and powerful performance, while calling on the KF and the ballet company to return every year.
The company performed in Cambodia two days later, in the presence of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. As someone who had learned and taught dance during his time in Europe, His Majesty approached the dancers onstage after the performance to praise their talent, along with expressing his sincere gratitude for such an impressive display.
The KF launched the Korea Festival program in 2012 to promote Korean culture in regions and countries of diplomatic significance. For 2016, the program is being presented in Asia because of the increasing importance of private-level diplomacy and exchange throughout the region. The Korea Festival in Asia kicked off with gala performances by the Korea National Ballet in Laos and Cambodia, and will continue to display the many facets of Korean culture with related events at 13 Asian venues (including Hancheng, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, and Thailand), in addition to Korean Studies lectures (Myanmar and Vietnam), international conference (Hong Kong), and K-Beauty demonstration.