I have the privilege of interviewing different participants of the MOVES – Ballett Theater Basel & Seoul Ballet Theatre Cultural exchange Project. „Snip Shot“ by Richard Wherlock and „Voice in the Wind“ by James Jeon, two works created for two unique occasions: the 20th anniversary of Seoul Ballet Theatre in 2015 and the 15th anniversary of Richard Wherlock at the helm of Ballett Basel in 2016. James Jeon, after a career in the United States, became a founding member, along with his spouse In-hee Kim, of a cutting edge Korean Ballet company in Seoul in 1995. On the other-side, Richard Wherlock, with a sophisticated, prolific and international career is directing Ballett Theater Basel for 15 years. The project began with the desire to enrich their company’s artistic experiences and to provide valuable cultural input. Since 2012, after several educational exchanges and development, this relationship has expanded into an exciting choreographic production that was performed last September in Seoul and recently in Basel.
I present to you, ANDREA TORTOSA VIDAL, a Spanish dancer with Ballett Theater Basel.
Before arriving to Korea, and knowing you will go, what were your thoughts?
I already danced in Seoul, while touring with my previous company, Aterballetto from Italy. So I was a little bit more prepared than the others. My expectations were: big cultural differences, not much of an English speaking, very spicy food, crazy big city life 24h non stop…
The benefits of a cultural exchange?
You really are taken care of by the Korean people. They really want to show how they live, think, feel, eat,… so beautiful! I would say the benefit is learning about the different culture.
Favorite Korean dish?
This time, unlike the first, I reaaaally tried the food! So much variety! I loved the crab soup mmmmm…
The metrooooooo!! I love the metro. With their songs every time the tram was about to arrive, for me that was an attraction.
A surprise? or something you didn’t expect?
I was really surprised by the hospitality of the Korean people, unbeatable.
A moment you remember the most?
The farewell of the Korean dancers, the hugs, the tears, the beautiful words,…
A major cultural difference?
The shyness, I don’t know if this is a correct word… but they are much more shy than us.
Something the audience does not know about you?
That when I travel I love to be on my own, getting lost in the streets with my map, a lot of crazy shopping and talking to the local people.
Thank you Andrea for participating. Main photo by Ruochen Wang.