- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 27, 2001

The Little Angels of Korea bring their country's music and dance today (Jan. 27) to George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium.

The 40 members of the folk-ballet, all girls from age 9 to 14, wear colorful costumes to present their country's folklore and legends. Their touring repertoire ranges from court dances to exuberant steps and songs from rural Korea. They perform numbers such as "Mask Dance," "Fan Dance," "Doll Dance" and "Wedding Day."

Based in Seoul, the Little Angles are touring 12 U.S. cities this month.

The troupe, founded in 1962 by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, includes 11-year-old Yeo Jung Kim. Yeo joined the group when she was 7. Although dancing onstage always was her ambition, she says through an interpreter that her heart races before she performs. She worries: "How could I dance for the audience in a good way?"

Yeo says she travels about 11/2 hours each weekday from her home to Little Angels Performing Arts Center, where she also does her academic studies. She says her ambition is to dance well.

Each year, the folk ballet auditions first- and second-grade girls in Seoul for their singing and dancing abilities. Those who are selected rehearse each day after school.

When the girls enter the third grade, they begin performing with the Little Angels. They continue until the sixth grade, when they take the year to learn the dances done by the older girls in the troupe. They resume performing in the seventh grade and continue until the ninth, when they must "retire."

In their travels, the Little Angels have visited North Korea in a cultural exchange.WHAT: The Little AngelsWHERE: Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NWWHEN: 3 and 7 p.m. todayTICKETS: $32 to $40PHONE: 202/432-SEAT, 703/573-SEAT or 301/808-6900

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