The South Korean dancer Young Gyu Choi joined Dutch National Ballet in 2011 as a member of the corps de ballet. In 2013, he was promoted no less than twice: first to coryphée and later in the year to soloist. He then danced leading roles in Don Quixote and Cinderella, among others. On the first of January 2016, immediately after his debut as the prince in The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, he was promoted to principal.
Young danced with the Korean National Ballet and Universal Ballet Korea, both in Seoul. On his mother’s initiative, he started dancing at the age of eight. “I wasn’t immediately enthusiastic, but after a few lessons I stopped thinking about it and just went”, he says. At the age of ten, he was admitted to the ballet course at the Sun Hwa Arts School in Korea, and in 2006 he continued his training at the Tanz Akademie in Zurich, Switzerland.
Young has received an impressive number of awards to date. At the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Varna, he won second prize in 2006, and first prize in 2010. He also received first prize at the Youth America Grand Prix, in New York, in 2007, and first prize at the Boston International Competition in 2010. In Amsterdam, he was awarded the Alexandra Radius Prize in 2017. From the British dance magazine Dance Europe, he received the honourable mention ‘Outstanding performance by a male dancer’ in October 2020.
Young also frequently performs as a guest principal dancer with leading international companies.
With Dutch National Ballet since:
Place of birth:
Seoul (South Korea)
Career with Dutch National Ballet:
Principal (2016), Soloist (2013), coryphée (2013), corps de ballet (2011)
Previously danced with:
Korean National Ballet (Seoul, South Korea), Universal Ballet (Seoul, South Korea)
Sunhwa Arts School (Seoul, South Korea), Tanz Akademie Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland).
- 2017, Alexandra Radius Award.
- 2010, Boston International Competition, 1st.
- 2010, Ballet Competition (Varna, Bulgaria), 1st.
- 2007, Youth America Grand Prix (New York City, United States), 1st.