Universal Ballet

Shim Chung

Universal Ballet Premiere The National Theater of Korea on September 21, 1986
Libretto Yongku Park
Choreography Adrienne Dellas
Additional Choreography Roy Tobias, Oleg Vinogradov, Bingxian Liu
Music Kevin Barber Pickard
Set Design Myungho Kim, Yonghan Hong
Costume Design Sylvia Taalsohn (Act 1), Oleg Vinogradov (Act 2), Hangyul Oh (Act 3)
Lighting Design Nakcheon Kang
Video Design Hyomin Choi
Composition 4 scenes and 3 acts
Running Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Universal Ballet’s Original Production enjoyed around the world

Shim Chung, a modern day classical masterpiece created for Universal Ballet has been staged more than 200 times at home and abroad and has sparked interest in many hearts in many places. As major newspapers around the world have praised its success, Shim Chung enjoys a growing endorsement from prestigious theaters the world over.

Traditional Story

Shim Chung, illustrates a young girl’s devotion to her blind father after losing her mother at birth. 

Learning that a donation of 300 bags of rice to the local temple will allow her father to regain his sight, Shim Chung willingly sells herself to the captain of a ship as a sacrifice to protect his vessel from the wrath of the Sea Dragon King. However, after descending to the Sea Dragon King’s watery realm, she 

pleads to the Sea Dragon King send her back to the surface in order to find her father. 

After her return to her homeland, Korea, her devotion is rewarded as the Korean King decides to make her his Queen, and her father finally regains his sight.

Shim Chung, a pillar of Universal Ballet’s repertory over 30 years 

Commissioned for the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Shim Chung is an anchor of the Universal Ballet’s repertory. Choreographer Adrienne Dellas and composer Kevin Barber Pickard teamed up to infuse traditional elegance into this classic ballet work. In preparation, they studied the history of Korea and took care in combining Korean cultural history with western classical ballet forms. 

This resulted in the creation of Shim Chung, a new level of performance blending traditional sentiment and modern artistry into one. The main story line is about Shim Chung’s devotion to her blind father and how heaven is moved to restore his eyesight and illustrates the Korean family value of ‘Hyodo’ a kind of dedication to serve one’s parents, which is an integral part of the Korean culture. In the production, this virtue of filial piety is refined in neoclassic choreography. 

Updated with underwater video scenes

In 2010, Shim Chung was further developed with the addition of underwater video scenes.