Hee Ra Yoo
I have performed, choreographed, and coached in Australia, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Canada, the U.S., Russia, Austria and Rome in disciplines ranging from ballet and modern dance to gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do. My choreographic style and choice matter comes from this range of experiences.
From ancient Korean Royal Court dances to 21st century Gaga movement, many dances have influenced my choreographic and teaching styles. Korean dance attempts to portray a timeless calm as the body moves with great weight. Gymnastics and ballet, by contrast, focuses on energy and weightlessness. Every culture creates a form of movement that expresses itself. Dance is an important way to reveal truth, and combining these forms reveals new ideas.
Dance can celebrate the joy of the human experience without word. The impressions dance creates can cross borders. By blending inspiration from cultures around the world, my work highlights the interactions of people in their daily struggles.
I have found that established movements, whether they are from modern dance or ancient traditional dance, can set the narrative of a work and can also create a specific tone. Borrowing movements from one dance tradition or another can define a piece, but can also constrain it. I am in the midst of a deep argument with myself about the best way to honor the form and dance of a particular culture while creating a modern piece of art that can go beyond the original ideas.
Her own company has a focus on the modern genre... After seeing a well-made contemporary ballet like this, it’s exciting to know that as a modern choreographer.... Yoo has successfully transferred her sensibility of movement to the pointe-clad dancer...It leads me to take her for her word that Yoo and Dancers is without borders.
- Leigh Schanfein, Dance Informa, January 30, 2013