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Brian Yoo / Artistic Director
  • Born in Jilin, China, Brian Yoo (Bingxian Liu) graduated from the Jilin Arts School and afterwards studied dance pedagogy at the Beijing Dance Academy. After graduating he taught for a while at his alma mater in Beijing, later joining Universal Ballet as a soloist. For two years, beginning in 1995, he was ballet master and choreographer at the Guangzhou Ballet in China, and from 1997 at the National Ballet of China in Beijing. Dancers who prepared under his coaching have won gold and silver medals in the international ballet competitions in Varna, Paris and elsewhere. In 1999, Bingxian rejoined Universal Ballet as Ballet Master, and was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director in 2000, and Artistic Director in 2009. For a number of years he also served as the Director of the ballet department of Sunhwa Arts Middle and High School. While at Universal Ballet, he has choreographed several ballets for the company, most recently the company's new full-length Korean ballet, The Love of Chunhyung, which will be revived this year as part of the company's 30th Anniversary Season. His shorter works in the company's repertory include Paganini Rhapsody, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto, and The Colors.
Jiyeon Ryu /Assistant Artistic Director
  • Born in Korea, Jiyeon Ryu studied ballet at the Yewon School in Korea and the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating from the academy, her good proportions, well-formed features and exceptional dancing qualified her to join St. Petersburg's Marinsky Ballet as a Soloist, a truly exceptional accomplishment, particularly for a non-Russian dancer.
    During her career as a dancer at the Marinsky Theater, her acting ability and flexibility of movement enabled her to perform brilliantly in many principal roles. Among her featured repertory were the lead roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Don Quixote. While in the Marinsky company, she also worked together with world-famous artists such as John Neumeier, William Forsythe, and Roland Petit.
    She is recorded in the 2009 academic reference dictionary, "St. Petersburg Ballet 1903~2003," which documented the many great artists who honored Russia over the last 100 years.
    Her final performance before retiring from the stage was an appearance in The Dying Swan, part of the Marinsky Ballet's tour to Korea in 2010. As a home-town girl performing with one of the world's very best ballet companies, the Korean media took a keen interest in her performance.
    After returning to her native Korea in 2011, she began teaching ballet to university dance students while working as a ballet mistress at the Korean National Ballet.
    From 2015, she began working as a ballet mistress with Universal Ballet and in 2017 was promoted to the position of Assistant Artistic Director.
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