Kang Sue-jin, principal dancer for Germany's Stuttgart Ballet, has been appointed as the next director of the Korea National Ballet, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Tuesday.
Kang will succeed Choi Tae-ji, whose term expires at the end of this year.
The 46-year-old is Korea's oldest active ballerina. She is currently taking the lead in the ballet "Madame Butterfly," which premiered in Innsbruck, Austria. She is scheduled to perform the role until 2016, but she will now wrap up her obligations to take up her new post in Korea.
Kang joined the Monte-Carlo Ballet in Monaco in 1982 and rose to fame three years later when she became the first Asian to win the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. She joined the Stuttgart Ballet in 1986 and has been the company's principal dancer since 1997.
Even at an age when most ballerinas have long-since retired, Kang remains in peak physical condition. In 2007, she became the first Asian to be honored as "Kammertanzerin," or a chamber dancer, by the German state government of Baden-Württemberg.