Choreographer Goh Choo San to be recognized at ballet festival gala in July

Singaporean ballet choreographer Goh Choo San, the first Asian choreographer to gain international recognition, will be commemorated with a special gala night on June 21 as part of the 10,000 Dreams: A Celebration Of Asian Choreography festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The festival, which runs from June 18 to 23, will showcase the works of Asian creatives in ballet, with a particular focus on Goh.

The event is curated by the Kennedy Center and Phil Chan, co-founder of the arts advisory group Final Bow For Yellowface. The gala night will feature performances of Goh’s works, including Momentum, where principal dancers Kwok Min Yi and Satoru Agetsuma will take on the leading roles. Additionally, two other ballets by Goh, Fives and Ballade, will be performed by The Washington Ballet and Vancouver’s Goh Ballet respectively, with dancers from the National Ballet of China.

Singapore Ballet artistic director Janek Schergen expresses his excitement about the gala night, emphasizing the significance of honoring Goh Choo San for breaking racial barriers and paving the way for other Asian choreographers. Born in 1948, Goh fell in love with ballet through the influence of his siblings and went on to achieve international acclaim for his choreography.

Having choreographed for prestigious ballet companies around the world, Goh left a lasting legacy in the ballet world despite his untimely death in 1987. He received the Cultural Medallion in 1986 and will be remembered for his pioneering contributions to Asian representation in ballet.

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