South Korean Sae Eun Park is the new star dancer of the Paris Opera


Sae Eun Park, 31, was named a star dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet this Thursday night, becoming the first South Korean to obtain this title in the prestigious company.

“At the suggestion of Aurélie Dupont, dance director, I have the immense pleasure of naming Sae Eun Park a star dancer,” announced the general director of the Opera Alexander Neef, at the end of a performance of the ballet “Romeo and Juliet”.

We have all had the pleasure of seeing a magnificent dancer tonight who showed us the extent of her talent “, he declared before the announcement, received with an ovation from the public at the Bastille Opera.

Park played the role of Juliet alongside Paul Marque, designated star dancer in December.

The Korean is known for the elegance of her technique and the fluidity of the dance. In 2017 she was chosen “principal dancer”, the rank that precedes the title of star.

She was born in Seoul in December 1989 and was hired just 10 years ago for the corps de ballet at the Opera. In his country he was already a soloist.

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With the Korean National Ballet I was a soloist and danced the main roles, “the dancer told . in 2019.” When I entered the Opera, I had a temporary contract and was always behind the scenes but I learned a lot. “

At the age of 17, this daughter of a pianist and a Samsung employee won the Lausanne Grand Prix and was a gold medal in Varna, two important prizes in the world of ballet.

He discovered the French style during a course taught by a former Korean Opera dancer. “It was a revelation,” he said.

Different styles are associated with Western countries or Russia, but there is no proper Asian school. Sae Eun Park trained with Russian dancers in the Vaganova style in her native Seoul.

Vaganova focuses more on the upper body. With the French style, which is based more on footwork, I have acquired the technique in a more natural way, “he added.

The dancer remembers an advice given to her by an old Russian teacher: “She told me ‘Don’t forget that despite the differences in style, what is important is what you express from the inside'”.

Now she is part of the handful of foreign dancers who have achieved the title of star, such as the Latin American Ludmila Pagliero.

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