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OCT, 2021

Jae-man's <VITA> is a work that secures not only his delicate senses but also the universality of communication through a contemporary sensibility. The power of Joo Jae-man's choreography is that it embodies a clear sense of self-consciousness that human beings are not in control of nature, but in a relationship that has to come and go. The theme that explores the anthropological and essential relationship between nature and human beings, or the ever-changing seasonal sense of nature that drives the whole story, is filled with images and stage productions, and emotional changes reflecting the life of joy and sorrow are filled with symbolic mise-en-scène. Antonio Vivaldi's <Four Seasons> music and dramatic opera songs, like landscapes, are combined with elegance and grotesque inner feelings, providing audiovisual satisfaction.        Kim Hae-Ra.  Choom-ji




OCT 13, 2018

INTO THE LIGHT is choreographed by Jae Man Joo. Antonio Vivaldi’s music gives this piece a very classic sense style. You can see the choreographer’s international experience in the flavor of the piece as he morphs the boy meets girl script into a modern person meets person romance. The Aria Duet, performed by Shawn Cusseaux and Tyler Kerbel in the only credited roles of the evening was breathtakingly beautiful. The principal dancer at the end of the section deserves mention for both her skill and stage presence. The company hits their marks precisely and stays in near perfect step throughout.   Reviewed By GEORGE HOOVER of Pittsburgh in the Round



FEB 10, 2018

"Circular" Performed by Alvin Ailey II.  Choreographed by Jae Man Joo, is like watching poetry.  It is intimate, intricate, and thought-provoking.  The shapes, lines, and extensions, with their foundations in ballet, exquisitely combine to show the grace and power of the dancers. The simple costumes, designed by Christine Darch, let the audience experience the power and majesty of the dancers’ bodies while adding texture and shape. The use of shadow and light, conceived by Lighting Designer Bob Ross creates an intimate feeling in a theatre with 450 other audience members. The most powerful section of this piece is a men’s duet, danced to a beautiful vocal rendition of Lascia Ch’io Pianga (George Frideric Handel). It juxtaposes powerful, masculine movement with beauty and emotion that is breathtaking. It felt very personal to me. I loved that there were moments in the piece where I could hear the dancers breathing. The entire audience seemed to breathe with them.  Like masterful poetry, Circular left each viewer with a unique and personal experience.

Review By By Debbie Ditton of FRONT ROW REVIEWERS UTAH



JAN 29, 2018

Opening the evening, Circular, Korean Jae Man Joo, was created in 2016. On amazingly combined music, combining GF Handel, a violin sonata Edison Denisov, and many other composers, ballet wants an overview of human emotions translated here into a broad exchange between twelve dancers of this company. The choreography is revealed here of incredible delicacy, vibrant, absolute flexibility and intensely sensitive. 

Review By Robert Penavayre.  Alvin Ailey II Perform at Odyssud-Blagnac, France
Article online January 29, 
2018 of danse-odyssud.



JAN 16, 2018

Jae Man Joo's "Circular" plunges the viewer directly into the visual grammar of Alvin Ailey, in small ballet strands, quick flashes of a fragmentary but frozen universe, which is more form than training. The piece is a remarkable attempt to subsumption of artistic diversity and reaches its peak in the moving duet as the notes of Lascia ch'io pianga Handel. Lights Rob Ross act as chisels to sculpt the bodies of twelve dancers as Polycletus was with his works.

Ailey II  Perform at Maison de la Danse _ Lyon. France

Review by Fabrizio Migliorati, at




Act 1 was the world premiere of "Goodnight," by the company's Associate Artistic Director, Jae Man Joo. The sparse piece moved like a living, breathing watercolor painting and it takes its inspiration from a famed 15th-century painting, "Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land," by Korean landscape painter, An Gyeon. Set to the sparse yet extraordinarily emotional works of modern composers Arvo Part and Gavin Bryars, "Goodnight" is a beautifully articulated dance, particularly in the closing section where male and female dancers costumed in mustard yellow and red-fringed bodysuits (a nod to the previous section where an abstract audio recording paid homage to saffron) are partnered and intertwined.

Danced By Complexions Contemporary Ballet. NY Joyce theater World Premiere. Reviewed By Tracy E. Hopkins of Broadway World. 




The World Premiere of Jae Man Joo's "Goodnight" kicked off the show, inspired by famed 15th Century painting, "Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land," which evokes a sense of curiosity and wanderlust. With a mystical lighting design by Michael Korsch, the company cast incredible shadows upon the set, magnifying their longing in a remarkable series of suspended attitude turns that seamlessly transitioned into lovely classical pirouettes. With Joo's easy choreographic style, the piece showed off the dancers' natural grace and camaraderie.

Danced By Complexions Contemporary Ballet. NY Joyce theater World Premiere. Reviewed By Christina Pandolfi of Broadway World.



APRIL 2017

Following their 25-city world tour, Ailey II returned to the Big Apple for their annual New York City season and debut at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, March 29-April 2 2017. The company performed two distinct programs, including four world premieres. Ailey II is a universally renowned group of young performers who are fantastic dancers, with amazing technique and energy. I had the privilege to attend the "All New" program, which truly showcased why they are one of the most popular dance companies in the country.

The evening began with the premiere of "Circular" by award-winning choreographer and ballet master Jae Man Joo. Joo brings a unique yet distinctive style, with a mix of classical and contemporary ballet while capturing the full circle of human emotions. The movements were mesmerizing and beautiful to watch.

The piece was full of circular motions- spins, turns, and twirls- that were perfectly executed by the dancers.

There were moments of unison that were fast and exciting and a lovely, yet powerful duet for men that gave me goosebumps.

Danced by Alvin Ailey II American Dance Theater. Reviewed By Caryn Cooper of Broadway World.



MARCH 2016

Jae Man Joo's Work "Into The Light" Music of Antonio Vivaldi.  

Jae Man Joo made masterful choices with lighting designer Josh Monroe to help us enter a realm within Into the Light, welcoming us into the deep dream he has created. Maddie McPhail is the first to enter our dream, working her way through the dense air as if it were itself alive and electric against her skin. Punctuated by suspended turns with the legs in extended positions, this beautiful piece showcased the dancers’ classical clarity, strength and risk-taking within technical structure. It was a smart choice to bring in a work that was created for Horton-trained dancers to bring out the PCDC dancers’ ability to establish precise and strong lines within an elegant framework.

Danced By Peridance Contemporary Dance Company.  Reviewed By Leigh Schanfein of Dance Informa.



MAY 2015

"Recur" by Jae Man Joo, excerpted from a longer work that premiered at the Joyce in 2013, ended in "Longing," a memorable duet by Aurélien Peillex and Malik Kitchen.

It was a sensitive piece with fluid movement which showcased the dancers' footwork and technique.  

Danced By Steps Repertory Ensemble.  Ailey Citi Group Theater. Reviewed By Rosalie Baijer  _NY Theater-Wire.



NOV 2014

Choreographer Jae Man Joo, the former Associate Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, set an excerpt from Recur on the members of the Steps Repertory Ensemble. They danced among one another with strength, fluidity, and commitment to the choreography. It is always wonderful to see how connected the dancers are to one another as they wove in and out taking the audience with them as they soared across the stage.             Reviewed by Anne-Allegra Bennett



JUNE 2014

“Flight” presented by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and choreographer Jae Man Joo, was a fine surprise.

Danced powerfully and with abandon by three male solo performers – Mark Caserta, Terk Waters, and Philip Orsano.  

Like a good poem, no collective move was redundant; each gesture and intention illuminated a clarifying meaning–the strength of the human will through struggle.  

The trio, lifted and lean created dynamic movements of psychological tension and release, beyond words.

Reviewed by Carlos Stafford.   ARTS SITE: Gia On The Move. COM



FEB 2014

“Recur” (2013), by Complexions associate artistic director Jae Man Joo, was divided into four parts.

RECUR... offered, in fact, the most interesting choreography of the evening. It was impossible to tell which dancers did what from the minimal program, and I don’t know this company well enough to guess. But the action was divided between two genderless dancers in large black coulottes, dancing against black, and a very tall, imposing man silhouetted against a rectangle of white, arms angled, wrists flexed, spidering his fingers. All three were Buddha-like, and the composition carried a sense of significant ritual. The third segment essentially was a recurrence of the first, except the flesh-toned tops were replaced by black ones with white stripes. But the fourth part, like the second, broke the pattern. A sculpturally lit, unabashedly homoerotic duet between two men, naked above the waist and wearing nude-toned pants, this dance avoided being tacky simply by providing the program’s only glimpse of real human drama.

Madison, WI.      By Susan Kepecs



December 2013

the company’s Associate Artistic Director Jae Man Joo, and Ballet Master presented two works this season,

the New York Premier of his 2013 work, "Recur" and a reworking of his 2012 work, "Flight".

Recur is 32-minute work with lighting by Micheal Korsch. 

The work played with light and shadow when the curtain rises the dancers are moving slowly about the stage, their backs facing the audience. They moved with shuffling steps, shoulders hunched over like overly medicated inmates of an insane asylum.

The imagery in Recur is haunting, it is not a disturbing work, but instead, it is a work that does not leave your mind’s eye quickly. The choreography varies from intensely beautiful lyricism to rapid, mesmerizing uses of the body in space.


Dance in New York City_ Review by Darrell Wood




Dec 2013

Associate Artistic Director Jae Man Joo’s new work Recur (world premiere) was more about the intent than the physical movement. He accomplished this through the use of strong visual imagery, which revealed the scenario on a multiplicity of levels. The strong structure and effective use of lighting produced universally perceived symbolism. The work had a modern art sensibility that allowed the audience to internalize it on a personal and individual level.

Harlemworldmag_  Review By Walter Rutledge   



Nov 2013

Associate Artistic Director Jae Man Joo choreographed the opening piece, which was making its New York premiere. Entitled “Recur,” the work was a reflection on the past and the memories we bring with us from previous events. At times showy, the choreography maintained a fine line of the ballet/contemporary style the company claims and competition tricks. It was the final duet between the eye-catching Terk Waters and Gary W. Jeter II that took the piece from simple dance to piece of art. The men melded into one another, rich and luscious in their every move. In the final image, Jeter’s legs are wrapped around Water’s hips as he leans backward, the top of his head reaching towards the floor… the audience gasped……

Jae Man Joo’s “Flight,” has similar thematic qualities to “Recur,” in its solo centric grouping. Luckily each of the dancers (Jourdan Epstein, Samantha Figgins, and Waters) are uniquely captivating…

EYE ON THE ARTS, NY _ Review by Bailey Moon



December 20th,2012- Premiere at the NY Joyce theater

Jae Man Joo’s  "Flight", set to the music J.S. Bach, is an intricate and intense work that is fascinating to witness........

Jae Man Joo’s  "Flight" is a work of maturity and brilliance that I hope to be able to see again.

Dance in New York City _ Review by Darrell Wood



November 30th, 2009Complexions Contemporary Ballet is bringing in its 15th anniversary with a bang!  This season at the Joyce Theater, Complexions has a variety of programs that cover the many shades of dance through the eyes of artistic directors, Dwight Rhoden, and Desmond Richardson.  What’s most exciting about this season, besides the dancers being more beautiful than ever, is seeing the work of company veterans such as Jae Man Joo and Juan Rodriguez on the line-up.

Atmosphere (2009 premiere) by company member, Jae Man Joo, is my personal favorite in this program.  In this piece, the audience gets to see Complexions in a whole new light, literally because of the light fixtures placed on the stage, and artistically through Joo’s style.  As the piece unfolds, the dancers create an amazing ambiance like wonderful illustrators on an open canvas. This piece is less about displaying extraordinary technique and more about showing each dancer as an individual artist with something very unique to offer.      Review by NewsIDANZ



November 2009

The “blank space” at the inception of a creative process served as inspiration for Jae Man Joo's new work, "Atmosphere".

The music—a varied sampling of Bach— simple and elegant choreography.

Dance Magazine.  Review by Christopher Atamian.




The fourth new work of the evening, “Atmosphere,” quickly fills the theater with subtle serenity.  Choreographed by Ballet Master, Jae Man Joo, the piece has a Charlie Brown quality to it. Though, friendly, familiar and playful the nuances of the movement keep it modern. Dancers move across the floor in syncopated rhythms on forced arch and pointed ankles momentarily replace stretched feet.  Attributing to the intimate nature is the way dancers, Christina Dooling, Jeter II, Philip John Orsano, Sabra Perry, Wendy White Sasser, and Clifford Williams, soak up Johann Sebastian Bach’s music like cookies dipped in milk. Williams especially demonstrates a sultry appeal in “Atmosphere,” with his sky-high arabesques and Slinky-like flexibility.         Pro Diligo Arts Culture Journal




Jae Man Joo filled his fascinating new men’s duet, Surface, with circular, roiling, grounded movements that flowed together effortlessly.

Performed At Joyce Theater, New York City-  Complexions Contemporary Ballet Review by Susan Yung, Dance Magazine.




Jae Man Joo showed his own signature style in his new choreography piece called "Duet" which was accompanied by live cello and piano.  The excellence of his solo performance drew the audiences into the mood. His unique talent, every detail of movement and musicality and his intensity captivated the audience. Within the dance his work was stand-out  He clearly showed the audience how a "solo dance piece" should be done well.   Review by Song Jeong-gun.-Dance Critics.




“Jae-Man Joo as Pimiento, with his attractive presence, would be sufficient to compel attention, but in building his menacing role, his characterization turned out to be among the most memorable”

Performed At Joyce Theater, Review by Jennie Schulman- BackStage




“In a final riveting solo Joo does a tai chi-like sequence with a middle section of agitated movement and a third very intense contracted journey away from us; its defined rigor is chilling to the alternating cacophonic electronics and sweet strings in the score. “

Performed at DTW -Zvi danceReview by LORI ORTIZ - City News




"........ Stand-alone dances eddy through the piece, often featuring Mr. Joo, a towering eagle of a dancer with a carved ivory mask of a face................”

Performed At St. Marks Church. Review by Jennifer Dunning - The New York Times




“.... Dancer Jae-Man Joo was particularly No-table for his elegant line and controlled turns, not to mention his sexy pouting in a duet with Nicole Corea .......”

”.....Perhaps the most fascinating segment was an extended duet for Corea and Joo that took place on two foam mattresses, with both dancers clad only in bright white underwear. They repeated unison phrases that evoked the violent tossing and turning of the most troubled insomniacs.....................”

Performed At Boston Majestic Theater.Review by Theodore Bale - The Boston Herald




"Complexions Dance Company, Pretty Gritty Suite, Dance to 11 Nina Simone songs, wrapped things up.In If I Should Lose You, Jae Man Joo Were Good, Socking out the message with staccato movements,Whipping and punching in the air in exasperation.."

Performed at Annenburg Center, PhiladelphiaReview by Janet Anderson - Philadelphia City Paper




“The coup de theater is a bouncy gymnastic duet on two mats, impressively performed by Mr. their underwear (the inner selves of the hero and heroine?)” Performed At Joyce Theater. Review by Anna Kisselgoff - The New York Times




“The riveting Jae-man Joo punctuates the fluidity of Oller’s movement, unabashedly playing..........Joo finds edge and weight in the dancing, the right combination of spark and softness. He prostrates himself to the earnest Montero, crucified with love, elbows and knees bend, eyes wickedly alert.”

Performed At Joyce Theater.Review by Suki John – The Village Voice




“..but in no way does a flashy if enraged solo excellently performed by Jae-Man Joo, convey rival Pimienta’s jealousy of Cecillia’s love ...”

Performed At Joyce Theater.Reviews by Deborah Jowitt – The Village Voice




“.. but a jealous Pimienta is superbly danced by seething Jae-Man Joo, with angular agility and proud, focused posture..”

 Performed At Joyce Theater. Review by Dr. Robert E. Zlokower – Explore Dance




“Performed on mats by Jae-Man Joo and Nicole Corea was filled with strenuous acrobatic movements and contortionist pose......”

Performed At Joyce Theater. Review by Jack Anderson – The New York Times




“ ... As Jae-Man Joo his long legs repeatedly extended. Literally shakes Montero up ……”

Performed At Joyce Theater. Review by Anna Kisselgoff – The New York Times




“The most interesting segment of “BESAME” involves two men who, when they first appear, resemble an alternative bridal couple.The pair soon splits, however, and while.... Jae-Man Joo performs a revealing solo, intense in his physicality......”

Performed At Joyce Theater. Review by Robert Johnson - The Star-Ledger




“The third story involved Jae-man Joo as a figure of romantic fantasy, attempting to cheer up the morose Hector Montero. The statuesque Joo clearly relished his time before an audience, milking each technically wrung-out phrase to the nth degree. He combined his showy ballet skills with a dash of MTV, to dramatic effect.”

Performed At Joyce Theater.Review by Susan Yung - The Dance Insider




“......So even if the duet for Alessandra corona and Jae-Man Joo drifted awfully close to the swooning excesses of tropical adagios it stayed rooted in a sense of people dancing for their own pleasure.......”

Performed At The UCLA Hall, Los Angeles CA.  Review by Lewis Segal - The Los Angeles times



Dec/2/99“ ……Gave Jae-Man Joo a chance to shine in the role of the outsider, trapped without love ”Performed At Joyce Theater.

Review by Valerie Gladstone-The New York Newsday




“Ann Reinking by contrast is all sunshine in her expertly crafted jazz and ballet piece ‘RITMO Y RUIDO’ while Mr. Joo and MS Corona gave the central duet the right languor....”

Performed At Joyce Theater.Review by Anna Kisselgoff - The New York Times




“.... The movements in a duet for Ms. corona and Mr. Joo were often big wide, and the power of these sequences became a sign of the strength of this couple’s passion.”

Performed At Joyce Theater.  Review by Jack Anderson - The New York Times


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