Get ready to fill your senses with sound and movement as A Festival of Korean Dance returns to The Place in London. This year’s programme explores the senses, from visions and perceptions of beauty, to synesthesia and blindfolded dancers using rhythm alone to navigate.
The festival showcases a programme from four women choreographers who are at the cutting edge of Korean dance culture. And it features returning artists Jinyeob Cha and Bora Kim as well as UK debuts from Soo Hyun Hwang and Yun Jung Lee.
Leading this year’s line-up is Bora Kim’s Art Project Bora in a collaboration Jaeduk Kim (Modern Table) to present MUAK. This innovative performance draws on the condition of synesthesia and the legacy of iconic Korean composer Isang Yun. And it sees dancers dis-assemble a piano live on stage.
A programme of sound and movement
Returning to the topic of the relationship between sound and movement, a double bill of artists new to the UK seeks to break down the boundary between performer and audience. Yun Jung Lee / Dance Project PPoKKi present Tongue Gymnastics and Soo Hyun Hwang presents Sense of Darkness.
In Sense of Darkness, blindfolded dancers move to rhythms supplied by their co-performers,. They use the sounds they make as cues to inform their gestures. All the while, the boundaries between audience and performer are subverted. Whereas, Tongue Gymnastics dissolves social norms or customs that relate to the tongue. It explores the physical mechanism of the tongue as a choreographic technique.
Completing the festival is Jinyeob Cha’s Collective A presenting MIIN: Body to Body. A project that began as an outdoor performance in Seoul, now has its World Premiere as an indoor theatre presentation during the festival. Cha’s sell-out show Riverrun provided the iconic images from first Festival of Korean Dance in 2018. This was not long after she choreographed the Winter Olympics ceremonies. So now her return to London is eagerly awaited. And MIIN: Body to Body sees her examine how perceptions of beauty and femininity have evolved beyond our conceptions.
In addition to this programme of performance, there are two online films to enjoy. These are available to festival bookers for free. Bora Kim’s Trace of Time is a meditation on the body, space and time. And Kyungeun Lee’s BreAking expresses the philosophy ‘don’t fit me into the world, let the world fit into me’.
There’s also be a pre-show seminar on Friday 17th June. Chaired by Nadine Patel, it will discuss the subject of gender politics in Korean contemporary dance from the perspective of a panel of female choreographers. And post show talks with the artists will also take place.
When: 17th – 25th June 2022
Where: The Place, 17 Duke’s Rd, London WC1H 9PY
£: Tickets cost £17