Leadership

Julia H. Moon

President and Chairman of the Board

Born in Washington, DC, Julia Moon began her professional training in Seoul, at the Sunhwa Arts School. After further study at the Royal Ballet School in London and L’Academie de Danse Classique de Princess Grace in Monaco, she began her dancing career at the Washington Ballet working with Choo San Goh and Mary Day. She returned to Korea as a founding member of Universal Ballet in 1984, dancing leading roles in much of the company’s repertory, including the leads in La Sylphide, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere and many other classics. She was one of the dancers chosen to dance the lead role in Universal Ballet’s Shim Chung, when the ballet was first created in 1986. In 1989, she became the first Asian to appear as a guest principal with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, dancing the lead role in Giselle, and returning in following years to appear in lead roles in Don Quixote (1992) and Swan Lake (1995).

Working together with Oleg Vinogradov since 1992, she has led Universal Ballet to inherit the Russian classical ballet tradition, and the company has grown into a leading force in the development of classical ballet in not only Korea, but all of Asia. Since 1996, Moon has served as General Director of Universal Ballet. She has served on the jury for many ballet competitions, including the Maya Plisetskaya (’96), Varna (’02), Helsinki (’05), Premio Roma (’05), and Jackson (’06) international ballet competitions. Her many awards include the Young Artist Award given by Korea’s Ministry of Culture and the Presidential Award for the Performing Arts. She has also received an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State University of the Arts. In 2010, she was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit Hwakwan by the Korean government, and in 2012 ISPA / International Society for the Performing Arts’ International Citation of Merit.

Now that she has retired from the stage and is responsible for running the company, Julia Moon is often surprised at how many people in all walks of life are fans of classical ballet. Pursuing the idea of ‘a community-friendly ballet company’, she delivers introductory lectures in the history of ballet and ballet appreciation to business executives, service groups, and university students, sharing her passion and interest in ballet. Her current responsibilities include not only directing Universal Ballet, but also the Universal Arts Center, Universal Ballet’s official schools and the Kirov Academy of Ballet.

 

Founding Artistic Director

Oleg VinegradovOleg Vinogradov

Born in Leningrad in 1937, Oleg Vinogradov graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy where he and classmate Rudolf Nureyev studied under Alexander Pushkin.  Vinogradov commenced his career at the Novosobirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, becoming ballet master in 1961, and soon thereafter began his career in choreography.  In 1972, Vinogradov became Director of the Maly Theatre of Opera and Ballet, leaving in 1977 to become Artistic Director of The Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky).

His choreographic accomplishments include, “Yaroslavna”, “The Inspector General”, “The Spellbound Prince”, “The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin”, “Potemkin”, and a new “Petrushka”.  At the Kirov Academy, Vinogradov played a significant role in preserving the ballets of the Russian classical legacy and in promoting innovation and cultural exchange with the West.  Vinogradov has introduced the choreography of Bejart, Bournonville, and Petit to Russian audiences.  Mr. Vinogradov has also been appointed Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Classical Ballet and Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

Co-Artistic Director

Adrienne Dellas Thornton
Classical Ballet Teacher, Director and Choreographer Dellas

Born in Detroit, Michigan to parents who immigrated from Greece and Australia, Adrienne Dellas began ballet instruction at four years of age. She studied with an array of teachers, including Enid Ricardo, Robert Joffrey, Hector Zaraspe, Richard and Barbara Thomas, Alexandra Danilova, Perry Brunson, Birger Bartholin, Vera Volkova and Ludmila Morkovina. She turned to teaching at the age of 20, following a career-ending accident.

A master teacher for more than 40 years, Adrienne Dellas trained and coached dancers from all over the world. As her reputation grew, she was invited to South Korea to launch the new Ballet Department of the Little Angels Arts Middle and High School. Based on its success, she established the now internationally acclaimed Universal Ballet Company in Seoul. As the company’s Founding Artistic Director, she choreographed numerous original full-length ballets, as well as restaging many of the classics.

Soon after the Universal Ballet Company began, Ms. Dellas choreographed an original full-length classical ballet “Shim Chung,” which was performed for the Tenth Asian Games 1986 Arts Festival and at the XXIV Olympic Games Seoul Arts Festival in 1988. She was awarded the Gold Medal for Artistic Achievement in Teaching and Choreography by the Korean President in 1988.

Returning to America, she taught for nearly ten years at the newly established Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, which was born out of the foundation of the Little Angels Arts Middle and High School and the Universal Ballet Company. As the only American teacher among the Russian faculty at the Kirov, she trained hundreds of dancers, many of whom are now principal dancers of major international ballet companies. During her tenure at the Kirov, she was invited to teach and choreograph at the world-renowned Vaganova Academy of Classical Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia.

From 2001-2008, she was the Academy Director at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, where she directed the master teachers of ten dance programs ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop.

Adrienne Dellas is internationally known for her expertise in teaching and choreographing for ballet companies, television and cultural events, directing and teaching ballet intensives, judging competitions, creating and conducting specialized teacher seminars, and coaching professional dancers.

 

Co-Artistic Director

Brian Yoo (Bingxian Liu)
Universal Ballet 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, and after a few years, he moved to Seoul, Korea, 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, Yoo returned to Seoul and rejoined Universal Ballet as Ballet Master. He was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director in 2000, and Artistic Director in 2009. For a number of years he has also served as the Director of the ballet department of Sunhwa Arts Middle and High Schools in Seoul. 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 was revived in 2014 as part of the company’s 30th Anniversary Season and took its first overseas trip in 2015 at the invitation of the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. His shorter works in the company’s repertory include Paganini Rhapsody, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto, and The Colors.

 

Associate Executive Director

Ivy Chung