Navillera : Chasing dreams in old age

  • Navillera : Chasing dreams in old age. The Korean drama ‘Navillera’ tells the story of the struggle to realize dreams and the building of relationships between two people of different ages.

Details of Korean drama Navillera

Drama Title : Navillera

Director: Han Dong-Hwa

Writers: Hun (webcomic), Ji-Min (webcomic), Lee Eun-Mi

Network : tvN

Episodes : 12

Release Date : 22 March – 27 April 2021

Show days & hours: Monday & Tuesday at 21:00 KST.


Sim Deok-Chool (Park In-Hwan) has long dreamed of appearing in a ballet performance. He is 70 years old and retired from his job as a post office clerk. Due to life situations, she puts her dream of becoming a ballet dancer aside and does a normal job to support her family.

Now, Sim Deok-Chool makes the decision to pursue his dream again. His family, including his wife and grown children, are not happy with his decision, but Sim Deok-Chool does not falter in pursuing his life long dream. She joined a ballet company to study ballet.

There, he meets Lee Chae-Rok (Song Kang). Lee Chae-Rok is a 23 year old man. While growing up, he played different sports like baseball, swimming, and soccer, but he was not talented in those activities.

She later became interested in ballet. Her mother was a ballet dancer, but she died of an illness when Lee Chae-Rok was a child. His father then went bankrupt.

Lee Chae-Rok knows that she has a talent for ballet, but, after pursuing ballet, she has almost no contact with her father and she has difficulty supporting herself financially. Through difficult times, her desire to become a ballet dancer faded. Just then, Sim Deok-Chool appeared in front of him.

Navillera Drama


Early March 2021 I watched a Korean drama on Netflix entitled Navillera (literally like a butterfly).

This is the story of an elderly man who had a childhood dream that didn’t come true: he wanted to dance ballet. Then he realized that dream at the age of 70 by studying with a young ballerino.

This 12-episode drama is described very beautifully. Every time I watch it, my eyes will get wet, not because the story is cryptic or lilting, but because there is a momentum that moves the heart to see the intricacies of the elderly learning ballet.

He not only wanted to dance, but also dreamed of performing Swan Lake. While there is still a chance, he said. This drama dispels the stereotype that when we are old, we cannot learn new things. Navillera may have the same theme as the drama Start-Up and Run On, about achieving what we dream of. The difference is, Navillera displays the dream of a.

Navillera also dispels gender stereotypes associated with ballet. The grandfather got opposition from his parents as a child, and in his old age got opposition from his two children. Although not explicitly stated, we can speculate why his wishes were not supported by his family. There is an assumption that ballet is only for women and men are feminine.

Male dancers are usually described as graceful, or in less pleasant terms, male ngondek. The depiction in Navillera is not at all like that. Even if there is, it’s also not a problem.

Seeing how hard his grandfather was in learning to dance, I kept remembering my favorite quote: You don’t stop dancing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop dancing. I often convey this quote when I give lectures, seminars, or webinars about the elderly, especially about the concept of active aging.

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