THE ARTS: HEAVEN IS EXPERIENCED THROUGH THE ARTS
According to Reverend Moon, in the future ideal world, it is artists, of all the professions, who will be held in the highest esteem.This is because people are first of all beings of heart and love and it is artists who stimulate the heart and express the love and beauty most directly in their work.
Reverend Moon is a major patron of the arts and culture both for their own sake and because art and culture are the universal languages that can touch people's hearts and bring peace to the world.
About Ballet: In His Words: “Ballet is truly a heavenly art form. The dancers stretch themselves upward to the ultimate degree to reach God in heaven. Ballet uses the entire body as an instrument to express man’s aspiration toward God. In this sense, it is the ultimate expression of artistic beauty.”
Major Achievement: "At the International Ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria--considered by many the Olympics of ballet--the unprecedented has happened: For the first time in the competition's 320-year history, American dancers won the gold medals in both men's and women's junior divisions. And to sharpen the surprise, not only were the two winners--Rasta Thomas, 15, and Michelle Wiles,16--both from the Washington area, but they also train at the same school, the Kirov Academy of Ballet."
The Universal Ballet CompanyFounded in 1984, the Universal Ballet company is directed by Reverend Moon’s daughter-in-law and prima ballerina, Ms. Julia Moon. The artistic director is Oleg Vinogradov, former director of the famed Kirov Ballet of Russia who gives the company a thorough foundation in the classical Russian style. The company has given over 1000 performances in 98 cities and 15 nations. Its tours have called attention to Asia's growing ballet achievements. In 1999, Ms. Moon received the Korea Cultural Art Award from the president of South Korea, Kim Dae Jung.
The New York Times:
"Astounding precision and attention to stylistic detail the corps ….can put even international ranked companies to shame. Julia Moon...in the title role of Shim Chung...a genuine star.” - Anna Kisselgoff
"Astounding precision and attention to detail...the corps (moving) in riveting unison... can put even internationally ranked companies to shame. Julia Moon...in the title role of 'Shim Chung'... is a geniune star."
New York Post
"Among Asian ballet companies deserving of international attention, including those in Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong, Universal Ballet is among the most interesting, ambitious and accomplished.”
- Clive Barnes
The Washington Post:
"Julia Moon is a lyrical dancer with a gorgeous line and the gracious authority to make one believe that she cancalm a raging storm, capture the heart of both a sea monster and a king to make the blind see again."
"[Universal Ballet] which this summer had a considerable success in a European tour through Hungry, Italy and Spain, is emerging as a major player in world dance."
New York Post:
"The Seoul-based Universal Ballet, largely funded by Dr. Sun Myung Moon, is today clearly a major international force..."
The Kirov Academy of BalletFounded in 1990 in Washington, DC, the Kirov Academy quickly became one of the nation's top ballet academies. A distinguished international faculty trains aspiring young dancers in the Vaganova ballet style. Academy students consistently win top prizes in international competitions and are accepted upon graduation to dance with the best ballet companies in the world.
The Washington Post: "At the International Ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria--considered by many the Olympics of ballet--the unprecedented has happened: For the first time in the competition's 320-year history, American dancers won the gold medals in both men's and women's junior divisions. And to sharpen the surprise, not only were the two winners--Rasta Thomas, 15, and Michelle Wiles,16--both from the Washington area, but they also train at the same school, the Kirov Academy of Ballet."
"All the dancers were spectacular, the costumes dazzling and colorful, and the program covering so many great ballet works was a dance lover's delight."
The Little AngelsFounded by Reverend Moon in 1962, the Little Angels is a world famous, internationally acclaimed children’s folk troupe which presents Korean native dances in stunning native costumes and sings in many languages. Founded when Korea was still an impoverished and war-scarred land, the LIttle Angels from their inception were South Korea’s emissaries to the world, winning hearts for Korea by giving more than 5000 live performances in 40 countries. Command performances were given to England's Queen Elizabeth II and US President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1998, the Little Angels made a historic peacemaking trip to North Korea as the first South Korean cultural group ever to be invited to Pyongyang, where they gave three performances.
New York City SymphonyFounded in 1926, the symphony came under the patronage of the International Cultural Foundation and Reverend Moon in 1972. Since then it has experienced an artistic rebirth under the guidance of current music director David Eaton.
The New York Times:
"The New York City Symphony and its excellent conductor David Eaton, served the piece honorably... careful and sympathetic... estimable."
New York Daily News:
"Give credit where credit is due... The Reverend Sun Myung Moon's International Cultural Foundation has helped the New York City Symphony has become one of America’s finest orchestras."
"The alert performances by the New York City Symphony... were virtually faultless, as usual... glowing music and on this occastion most glowingly performed."