The Universal Ballet was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1984. One of only four professional ballet companies in South Korea, the company performs a repertory that includes many full length classical story ballets, together with shorter contemporary works and original full-length Korean ballets created especially for the company. The company is supported by followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, with Moon's daughter-in-law Julia H. Moon, who was the company's prima ballerina until 2001, now serving as General Director.
The company has 73 dancers, two-thirds Korean, many Russian, all dancing with that long-legged clarity of the Kirov but with a pearly, Asian softness of attack. Julia Moon herself is a lovely ballerina, a modest and gracious woman of 37, who seems overawed by her dual responsibilities as ballerina-in-chief and general director.