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, RUOCHEN WANG, a Chinese dancer with Ballett Theater Basel.
Before arriving to Korea, and knowing you will go, what were your thoughts?
For me it was an exciting time of course because I was going back to Asia! I thought about the food and the warm air. In a way it was like going back home. I also knew my family would come from China to Korea to see me perform. I looked forward to that moment.
The benefits of a cultural exchange?
Because dance is a very international art form, I think it is important for artists to see what is happening all over the world. What the level is like. Learn about new styles. It also makes us appreciate what we are doing. Their is more to this world then just what we know. In a way it is very educational and it opened my eyes.
Favorite Korean dish?
Gamja Tang (Korean Pork Bone Soup)
A surprise? or something you didn’t expect?
I was surprised by the culture. Korean people and Chinese people have a lot of similarities, but I felt the Korean people maintain a high level of traditional standards much more than us ( Chinese people). I noticed in their respect and manners. I was surprised, because I thought China was already at a high level.
A moment you remember the most?
The hospitality of the Korean people is something I will remember the most. They happily satisfied what ever we needed. We felt so easy in a different culture because of that.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
A major cultural difference?
In Europe everyone is more of an individual. I felt the Korean had one leader one thought and they believe what the leader says. I feel in Europe we can express ourselves more.
Something the audience does not know about you?
As a Chinese dancer I am working really hard to make it in Europe and follow my heart. I appreciate everything around me. I like to experience new things. I like adventure.
Thank you Ruochen for participating!