When: 9th – 16th May 2018
Where: The Place, London, 17 Duke’s Rd, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9PY
£: Tickets cost £16
What is it?
Leading London dance institution, The Place, will be collaborating with the Korean Cultural Centre in London to present a week-long festival featuring performances by five Korean dance companies.
The Festival of Korean Dance will be headlined by the Korean National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC), making their first ever UK appearance to present a piece that exhibits the beauty of Korea, combining the music and movement of East and West.
The second evening of the festival will feature a double bill that begins with the Ahn Soo Young Company’s Swan Lake, which takes the story (and score) of Tchaikovsky’s ballet and reimagines it as a warning about environmental destruction, incorporating dance styles from Hip Hop to poppin’, B-boying to contemporary dance. The show was awarded the Grand Prize at the Seoul Choreography Festival when it was first performed 2011 and has toured to the Netherlands, France, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Panama, winning acclaim from critics.
The second part of the double bill is Kyoung Shin Kim’s Ordinary Stranger, which interrogates memory and identity with a cast of three performers.
The third and final night of the festival will see choreographer Lyon Eun Kwon presenting Glory, which looks at a little-known aspect of Korean dance culture – the Dong-A Dance Competition – where the prize on offer is exemption from the compulsory from the military service all South Korean men must undertake. Performing in this investigation of a fascinating real-life phenomenon is Namkeun An dancer, a former participant in a competition that won him freedom from serving in the army.
The final evening will be completed by psychedelic art-dance work Riverrun, a collaboration between choreographer Jinyeob Cha and The Hague/Seoul-based visual artist Vakki, whose work is characterised by bright colours and swirling repeating patters. The piece takes its title from the first word of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, aligning the novel’s circularity with a spiraling physicality.
A Festival of Korean Dance is part of Korea/UK 2017-18 year of cultural exchange which launched in July 2017 and has so far seen the UK playing host to leading Korean artists from range of disciplines including music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Celebrating the friendship and co-operation between the two countries, Korea/UK 2017-18 is a companion programme to the British Council’s UK/Korea 2017-18 which has seen British artists including Company Wayne McGregor and Balletboyz visit Korea.