Theater & art


New Boston Ballet member Seo Hye Han




Age: 24

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea


Think of: Boston Ballet principal Misa Kuranaga in the exceptional way she combines precision and poetry.

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What caught our eye: In the final stage of last year’s Boston International Ballet Competition, she performed the “Don Quixote” pas de deux with a poise and degree of personality that belied her years. It was no surprise that she won the senior gold medal. Since joining Boston Ballet as a member of the corps in 2012, she has shone as the Ballerina Doll in “The Nutcracker” and the Songbird Fairy and White Cat in “The Sleeping Beauty,” and this month she showed off her range with major roles in Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma” and George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Symphony in C.” She’s a delicate Dawn in the current production of “Coppélia”; she’s also hilarious as one of Swanilda’s friends.

Lightbulb moment: “I grew up surrounded by a family of artists, and we were always going to museums, the ballet, the opera. When I was 8, I knew I wanted to be a dancer.”

Biggest thrill: Her victory at the 2012 Boston International Ballet Competition.

Biggest surprise: “I needed a change, so I decided to leave Universal Ballet Company in Korea. I didn’t have a plan or anything. I came to America to compete in the BIBC, and then Mikko [Nissinen, Boston Ballet artistic director] offered me the job! Such a big surprise!’’


Inspired by: “My mother inspired me. She was a dancer, and now she teaches ballet.”

Aspires to: “One day I would love to become a principal with Boston Ballet, and then go back to perform in Korea as a principal. It would be great to make my country proud, and show them how beautiful Boston Ballet is.”

For good luck: “I like to listen to electronic music before I perform. It gives me energy!”

What people should know: “I always work hard, but I make sure I enjoy my life. People say I’m always smiling, and I think it’s because I enjoy my life so much. It makes me, and the people around me, smile.”

Coming soon: Watch for her in the final performance of Boston Ballet’s “Coppélia” at the Opera House on Sunday, and on tour with the company in Washington, D.C., June 4-5 and in London July 3-7.




Jeffrey Gantz can be reached at