Please rotate your device
Cookies enable us to improve your user experience on our website. By continuing to browse the website you agree to our Cookie Policy.
Welcome to Centurion Magazine
  • Exclusive access for Centurion® Members

    Discover a world of features especially crafted for you

  • My BlackBook

    Customised content that reflects your interests

  • Magazine Archive

    A downloadable repository of issues past

  • Limited Editions

    Products exclusively assembled for you

  • The Compendium by Centurion

    Your ultimate guide for 2016

  • Editors' Desk

    Your direct line to the magazine team


In Conversation: Yuhui Choe

Once described by her fellow dancer as someone who “radiates joy in the purest sense”, Yuhui Choe’ s performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy is one of the highlights of this season at the Royal Opera House in London

Yuhui Choe Photo: © ROH, 2014. Tristram Kenton

You left your family at 14 to pursue a career in Paris. How did that shape you into the committed artist you are now?
I was born and raised in Japan, and am from a Korean family, being surrounded by two different cultures as I was growing up. Leaving home at such a young age was hard, but it made me stronger. I wouldn't have been able to make it without the support of my family. I wanted to study in Paris, because of Élisabeth Platel – the ex-Danseuse Etoile of the Opéra national de Paris and the director of the Ballet School – she was my idol. I watched her videos a lot and absolutely adored her elegance and femininity. In Paris I simply wanted to immerse myself in the beauty of the city – it was a paradise with great cultural inputs readily available at hand.


What is a typical workday for you? Likewise, what is a day off?
I spend most of my time at the Royal Opera House in Convent Garden. A typical day starts with a morning ballet class followed by rehearsals, which could run until about 6pm. The evening performance then starts at 7.30pm. When I have a break during the day, I strengthen and condition my body through Pilates and Gyrotonic sessions.

On my day off, I stay away from Covent Garden. It is important to switch my mind off from time to time, I think. I love sleeping in on Sundays, but going to markets, art galleries and nice restaurants is also wonderful. There is always something new to discover in London – it has everything!


Which one role has meant the most to you?
The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker was one of my first big roles and the current season will be my 5th. When I am on stage, I want my performance to be like the most glittery icing sugar on top of a very delicate cake. I feel blessed to have so many great roles to choose from, so it would be difficult to pick any particular one, but if I had to choose, the Girl in Pick in Dances at a Gathering by Jerome Robbins was the most meaningful. It was a very special ballet for me, not just because I got to dance with Carlos Acosta – it was my first time on stage. I just felt so pure, it was magical.


Yuhio Choe is a First Soloist with The Royal Ballet. Visit

Share This