In Korean Folklore, the “O-Jak Bridge” refers to a bridge made by crows and magpies that spans across the Milky Way allowing two distant lovers to reunite one night each year.
In 2022, Korean Artist MiYoung Seul Margolis, founded the O-Jak Bridge Art and Dance Festival, showcasing Korean creative culture through a one-night-only performance that nearly sold out the 300-seat capacity of the Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle, WA. This inaugural performance featured the MMDC (MiYoung Margolis Dance Collective), Adage Ballet Academy, Eurasia Academy and Ensemble and KOSMIX. Altogether more than 60 dancers took the stage to share their performance art with the audience. Each group brought its own unique style and cultural influence which created an incredible juxtaposition of traditional and modern styles blending across the diverse cultures of the dance companies.
In 2023, The O-Jak Bridge Art and Dance Festival will be held in close partnership between MiYoung Margolis Dance Collective and Adage Ballet Academy and feature guest performances by dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The theme for this year’s festival is “Non-Traditional Swan Lake”. (Location: Erickson Theater, Date: December 9th, Time: 3:30pm and 7:30pm)
The choreography for the “Non-Traditional Swan Lake” is being directed by MiYoung Margolis, the founder of the O-Jak Bridge Art and Dance Festival, and Guillaume Basso, a former PNB ballet dancer and chief of Adage Ballet Academy.
This year’s cast will be 45 dancers strong. The choreography will once again be anchored in Korean Cultural Dance and blended with traditional ballet, street and tap dance to tell the classic story of Swan Lake but through a non-traditional lens.
Swan Lake is a tragic love story that follows the relationships between Odette, the White Swan and Prince Siegfried. The story beings in a lake filled with the tears of Odette’s mother, tears of sorrow, but also tears of hope that one day her daughter’s curse would be lifted, and she would find her true love.
After the famous repertoire of Swan Lake and traditional ballet of the four swans, the first act ends with a duet of the famous Odette and Prince Siegfried falling in love, and the second act begins with the Great Ball to find Prince Siegfried’s bride. During the Ball, the traditional Swan Lake ballet includes performances by Hungarian, Spanish, and Russian ballet, the O-Jak interpretation replaces these with alternative styles, including a Korean solo sword dance and a Gender Twisted Princess, creating a unique and fresh story to attract the audience.
Another exciting departure is highlighted at the end of the ball, upon Odile "the Black Swan" entrance pretending to be Odette. This Scene is presented as a modern dance piece, choreographed by MiYoung Margolis and set to the orchestral accompaniment of BTS’s "Black Swan."
Though Swan Lake traditionally ends in tragedy, the O-Jak Bridge interpretation diverges, and the two lovers are embraced by a happy ending, where once per year, they cross the Milky Way to reunite thanks to a bridge of cows and magpies. The Korean traditional dance company "Morado" will finish the festival with Jin-Do Drum dance to boost the festival’s energy, and Kathryn Tower’s Tap Dance work, selected through the <Non-Traditional Four Swans Dance> choreography competition, attracts attention.
This performance is sponsored by global cosmetics company ‘Clinique’, Romana Pilates studio in Seattle ‘Knesia Pilates’, a medical investment business Company from LA, Speedyglasses.net (choiceofamerica.com), Seattle famous Bubble Tea shop <Oasis Tea Zone> and Art Gallery B612 in Seattle.
The Lake of Fate, tears of Odette’s Mother
choreography by @mikkukfriend #miyoungmargolis
My dearest daughter, my precious princess. I’ll collect my love and tears for you, always by your side at the lake. Sweetheart, I’ll shield you, so don’t dwell in sorrow.
When someone pledges eternal love, mirroring mine as your mother, your challenging destiny will fade away. No more tearful days; I’ll carry away the pain, discover love in this lake, and exchange sad tears for joy. Find happiness, my beloved daughter. My love for you knows no bounds.
Photography by Ron Hidalgo, Digital Sky Journey