Meet Billy Elliot: Jin-ho Jung

    Note: Jin-ho’s (정진호) Final Performance as Billy was in Seoul on February 27, 2011

    Debut: August 12, 2010 (Seoul).

    Total Performances as Billy: 65 (includes 2 partial shows credited @.5)

    Jin-ho JungJin-ho Jung, who was 12-years-old at the time he played Billy, comes from a tap dance background.  From Ahn-yang, Jin-ho has appeared on the popular Korean TV talent show  Star King, where he demonstrated his dance skills.  He impressed the creative team with his tap skills at the auditions, when he displayed unique tap dance choreography to Singing in the Rain.  He even went so far as to memorize the lyrics and music to all the songs in the show and mastered some of the major scenes by using videos of the show he found on YouTube.

    Jin-ho received ballet lessons for the first time at the “Billy School”, but by the time BETM was ready to open at the LG Arts Center, he had made great progress in ballet and says he really learned to like it.  Observers say his Billy was a “graceful, sincere character honed by constant practice of all aspects of the role”.  His ballet technique was so excellent that the choreographers described Jin-ho’s ballet skills as “unbelievable.” (“You cannot believe that he has learned it in only a year!”) Therefore, his ‘Electricity’ was the ballet version instead of the street version. And,  according to the creative team, he showed the best tap skills among the four original Billys.

    Jin-ho Jung is Billy ElliotWhen it came to his acting,  Jin-ho’s meticulous personality gave him a nickname ‘Director Jung.’ Musical director NaYoung Lee said “He never just skips even the small parts. When we give directions during the practice, he remembers almost everything we’ve said at the next practice session.”  Executive director Hwang said “He tries to do everything well and he actually does it well.” He added “He is the most accomplished Billy when it comes to overall acting.”

    Something of a prodigy, Jin-ho not only has the excellent skills he’s displayed in dance, but is also exceptionally talented with the violin.  He has received an advanced academic education with future hopes of becoming a Ph.D in economics.

    But he says that the BETM experience has made him interested in various areas. “Now I want to do a lot of things. I wanted to become a Ph.D in economics before.” During his downtime, he likes to watch old movies such as Singing in the Rain and Guys and Dolls.

    In the Korean Times interview in the days before the show opened in Seoul, “For the remaining training period, I will work harder than I have done so far to become the perfect Billy,” said Jin-ho.

    Here, on video, is Jin-ho practicing his tap skills in his house:



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