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 JULIAN JUAREZ CASTAN, a Spanish dancer with Ballett Theater Basel.
Before arriving to Korea, and knowing you will go, what were your thoughts?
I didn’t think much about it because I never expected to be chosen. Once I knew it and we were on our way there, I was very open minded, just wanted to make the best of the experience.
The benefits of a cultural exchange?
Mutual growth, loads of fun.
Favorite Korean dish?
Had the privilege of witnessing Armando Braswell perpetrating “I will survive” in the karaoke bar… hahahaha, no seriously, any of the things we did with our Korean friends were special.
A surprise? or something you didn’t expect?
The hospitality of everyone we met, they made it an amazing experience for us.
A moment you remember the most?
First day after work, some of the dancers came to us and offered to show us around and toke us to the city. They even cancelled their previous plans and expended the rest of the day with us, that made us feel very welcome.
A major cultural difference?
The way they interact with each other, respect is very important and this even reflects on their language. The same concept can have different words to represent it depending on the age and the relation within the interlocutors.
Something the audience does not know about you?
I love cooking and I love eating.
Thank you Julian for participating!