Technology, philosophy, folk tales and feminism are among the subjects explored by the five dance companies visiting London this summer.
A Festival of Korean Dance is returning for 2019 with a programme curated by The Place and supported by the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) and the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS). Drawing on aspects of the country’s culture from history to the present day, the featured shows will bring to the stage themes and ideas that resonate from Korea to the whole world.
The programme will be led by Modern Table Dance Company, who will present Sok-do (Velocity) on Friday 31st May. A work for eight virtuoso male dancers, driven by live music played on the Ajaeng, a traditional Korean stringed instrument. Led by Jae-Duk Kim, Modern Table mix traditional Korean dance styles with rock and hip-hop influences, aiming to transgress the borders between genres.
The following week, the festival will feature a double bill by Art Project Bora (4th June). Somoo, named after a traditional Korean mask is a work on feminism that uses traditional Asian feminine gestures to create an image of female genitalia. It will be accompanied by A Long Talk to Oneself in which Bora Kim conducts a conversation, through dance, with a video of herself projected on stage, expressing the stories that are contained in movement.
The final performance on Friday 7th June is a triple bill of works from companies at the cutting edge of Seoul’s contemporary dance scene. The first is Complement, created by the Choi X Kang which asks ‘can objects outside our eyes be controlled?’ – and uses camera technology to explore the question in a humourous fusion of the virtual and the real.
It will be followed by Goblin Party’s postmodernist-influenced Once Upon a Time which tells stories through changing the audience’s perception of traditional Korean objects, such as tobacco pipes and fans. Drawing on their heritage but reframing it for contemporary audiences, the company’s symbol is a traditional Korean monster goblin.
The evening will be completed by Noname Sosu Silentium which plays with lighting and darkness to show the body as an optical illusion, a statue or a projection, creating a visualisation of emotions in its extreme state.
When: 31st May – 7th June 2019
Where: The Place, 17 Duke’s Rd, London WC1H 9PY
£: Tickets cost £13 – £17 per show