The SooRyu Festival started as an annual event in 2003 and is now biennial since 2006, alternating with the Mi Young Kim Dance Company’s biennial Mi Young Kim Dance Company Performance (started in 2007).
The mandate of SooRyu is to offer a stage for the highly artistic dance performance of both established dancers and emerging artists of diverse cultural backgrounds in order for the audience to experience something unique and exciting to enrich diversity and multiculturalism. The overall goal of this festival is to provide the audience with visually rich and emotionally enlightening experiences by showcasing dance as the means towards expression and movement.
The festival has proven to be a valuable service to the Canadian cultural community. Showcasing traditional, modern, contemporary creations of all dance forms, Soo Ryu has created a harmonious community in which artists from different countries and in different stages of their careers mingle and collaborate. Genres that we have presented include traditional African, Japanese, Butoh, Chinese, Mexican, Aboriginal, Korean, contemporary, modern ballet, classical Indian and many more.
We are proud to have supported many immigrant and culturally diverse artists, offering some of them the first professional stage to show their art to Canadians, an important boost in their careers. In 11 years, we have presented 9 Canadian debuts and more than 8 world premieres. The Bon Won Temple (South Korea), for example, shortly received UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status for their Yeong San Jae ceremony after their debut at our 2008 Soo Ryu Dance Festival. They returned in the next year and offered a free performance for our Canadian Korean War veterans and Canadian–Korean community on Remembrance Day, as thanks to KDSSC and their Canadian supporters.
For more information and lists of performers in previous festivals, please see “Past Performances.”