After studying journalism and film, Ahn Sungsoo became a choreographer and in 1991 established a dance company called the Sungsoo Ahn Pick-up Group. Based in New York, the company performed at the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, Central Park Summerstage, DTW, and many other places. Moving back to his native Korea, in 1998 Ahn re-established the company in Seoul.
Ahn's work has received much attention as a result of his sophisticated choreography and the coherent movement analysis that stems from his outstanding musical sensitivity and has earned him many awards from home and abroad. His 2004 creation My Funeral received the top award for dance in Arts Council Korea's Artist of the Year Awards in 2005 and his Bolero, presented in 2005, was a finalist for best performance in the BENOIS DE LA DANSE, the world's top dance award. Additionally Ahn's work Rose-the Rite of Spring exemplifying his notion of "visible music" received the Art of Dance Award in 2009. One of his most sought-after creations, Rose-the Rite of Spring has been performed in Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Poland and Mexico, and was also selected for the official showcase CINARS 2014, one of the world's most prestigious international showcase and networking events, held in Canada.
Ahn is not restricted by the genre barriers separating ballet, contemporary dance, Korean traditional dance, and other forms. He analyzes the characteristics of each form, so he can break them down and reconstruct their elements to form a new cohesive performance. This approach and the pieces he has produced using it have been well received both at home and abroad. In 2012, his new ballet Poise was premiered in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Korea National Ballet. In 2014, 2 in Two and Art of Evolution displayed an eminent collaboration of ballet and contemporary dancers. In 2013 and 2014, Ahn choreographed Altar and Tournament for the Korea National Dance Company, aimed at modernizing Korean traditional dance. His latest piece, Immixture, the result of a gradual process of creation starting from 2014, premiered to acclaim in 2016 at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, France.
Ahn enjoys working and collaborating with performers from diverse dance backgrounds, such as Korean traditional dance, hip hop, ballet, and contemporary dance. With the aim of helping dancers improve body control while attaining freedom of movement, he has integrated the concept of ‘Body Neutralization’ with ballet training. This approach allows dancers to move swiftly and freely, encompassing varied genres and techniques, and forms the base for a dance aesthetic that organically combines Eastern and Western dance forms.
As the third Artistic Director of Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, Ahn Sungsoo is dedicated to creating fine contemporary productions everyone can enjoy, communicating with the audience, and establishing a lasting presence on the global stage, so that a wider international audience will have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Korean contemporary dance and the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company.
- 2017 Reflection of Roses
- 2016 Immixture
- 2015 Swan of Tuonela
- 2014 2 in Two, Art of evolution, Tournament
- 2013 Altar
- 2012 Poise
- 2012 Double exposure
- 2010 Body Concerto
- 2009 Rose-the Rite of Spring, Mating Dance
- 2007 Outline
- 2006 Lost Children
- 2005 Bolero The Night Before
- 2004 My Funeral
- 2003 Wonderland
- 2002 Piazzolla Study
- 2001 Now, etc