Lina Kim in Glass Concerto

When Lina Kim first performed Glass Concerto, then titled One More Breath, in 2013 as part of Li Cunxin’s first year at Queensland Ballet, it was the score that really struck a chord.

Lina Kim in Glass Concerto

Composed by Philip Glass, it would become one of the Soloist’s (then a Company Artist) favourite pieces of music, enriched by Greg Horsman’s powerful choreography and her experience performing it as one of the original cast. This year Lina will reprise her role for the Li’s Choice triple bill, and she couldn’t be more thrilled! Here she shares insight into the work 10 years later as we celebrate Li’s decade of directorship with this compelling piece.

How does your role in Glass Concerto this year compare to your role in the 2013 version?

I’m performing exactly the same role as that first time 10 years ago! I am one of three couples on the stage. We presented this work as part of Dance Dialogues in 2013 where I was in the original cast. It has evolved a little since then, but the idea of it is exactly the same.

What do you love about performing it?

I love how athletic and musical it is. It’s agile, and just the speed of it, the stamina, the intricate partnering, the way we carry it right to the end – I love it. It’s a very challenging piece and as a professional dancer, it’s quite rare to come by a work so technically challenging that has been choreographed on you. You can make it your own, but be pushed to your limits every time you do it, and I think that’s quite rare, so I feel fortunate to have been a part of the original cast, and have a little piece of me in it.

Who are you partnering with this season?

The first time I was partnered by Alec Roberts (former QB Company Artist), followed by Camilo Ramos in the Raw season in 2017. This year I’m partnered by with Patricio Reve.

How does it feel dancing it 10 years later?

It definitely feels different. Knowing that it’s such a challenging piece, I’m now aware of when to pace myself, knowing when to pull back, and knowing sometimes doing less is more effective and efficient. Sometimes it feels like no time has passed, like the way the muscle memory just kicked in; that’s what surprised me the most - when the music came on my body knew before my brain!

What do you enjoy about contemporary dance?

I love it, I enjoy the chance to be a bit more free and outside the box. Classical ballet at this level - it’s either right or not quite right, so dancing contemporary can be quite cathartic. Also the music: Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto is so powerful and it’s actually one of my favourite pieces of the third movement when we’re all so tired, the music drives us because it’s so loud and huge that it pushes us right until the end.

You were with Queensland Ballet when Li began as Artistic Director. As a dancer, how have you seen it evolve?

It has grown – the size, the reputation, the drive has changed. Li always strives for more and better and higher, so that drives us to become our best. I also love working with Greg (Horsman), because he’s one of those people that brings the best out in me. We are very fortunate to have a team like this to lead us!

By Cassandra Houghton

Don't miss Li's Choice this June at the Playhouse, QPAC. Find out more here.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and perform. Long before we performed on this land, it played host to the dance expression of our First Peoples. We pay our respects to their Elders — past, present and emerging — and acknowledge the valuable contribution they have made and continue to make to the cultural landscape of this country.

Click Anywhere to continue