Korean dancing is relatively unknown in the UK, so this festival – which is curated by The Place and supported by the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) and the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) – provides an insight into the diversity of Korean dance.
The inaugural festival in 2018 was part of the Korea/UK year of cultural exchange and was well-received by critics and the paying public alike.
This year, audiences will be able to welcome returning companies and become acquainted with artists who are performing in the UK for the first time.
Modern Table Dance Company, led by Jae-Duk Kim, is known to Londoners after making appearances at the Greenwich and Docklands Festival, and at The Place for K-Music Festival. The company is presenting Sok-do (Velocity), an adrenaline-fuelled piece for eight male dancers, at A Festival of Korean Dance on 31 May.
Driven by live music played on the Ajaeng – a stringed instrument – Sok-do fuses traditional Korean dance styles with rock and hip-hop influences.
Art Project BORA is an experimental, interdisciplinary company headed by Bora Kim, one of Korea’s brightest dance talents.
Audiences can experience a double bill of Kim’s highly technical contemporary dance on 4 June.
Somoo, named after a Korean mask, is a feminist work that uses traditional Asian gestures to create the image of female genitalia.
A Long Talk to Oneself, a collaboration with film director Jae-Hyung Joo, sees Kim conduct a danced conversation with a video projection of herself. Flowing movement becomes fragmented gestures as she confronts her past.
The Festival closes, on 7 June, with a triple bill from three companies at the cutting-edge of Seoul’s contemporary dance scene: Choi X Kang, Goblin Party and Noname Sosu.
Complement, by Choi X Kang, asks ‘can objects outside our eyes be controlled?’ and uses cameras to imaginatively explore this question.
Postmodernist-influenced Once Upon a Time, by Goblin Party, tells stories by altering perceptions of traditional Korean objects, including tobacco pipes and fans.
Silentium, by Noname Sosu, plays with lighting to show the body as an optical illusion, inviting us to decipher what is reality.
Blending the traditional and the contemporary, A Festival of Korean Dance will express what ‘dance’ means in Korean culture over three entertaining and enlightening evenings.
Modern Table Dance Company: Sok-do (Velocity)
31 May 2019, 7.30pm
Running time: 50 minutes
Art Project BORA: Somoo / A Long Talk to Oneself
4 June 2019, 7.30pm
Running time: 1 hour, ten minutes
Suitable for ages 15+
Choi X Kang project: Complement / Goblin Party: Once Upon a Time / Noname Sosu: Silentium
7 June 2019, 7.30pm
Running time: 1 hour, thirty minutes
Suitable for ages 15+
|What||A Festival of Korean Dance, The Place|
|Where||The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Euston (underground)|
31 May 19 – 07 Jun 19, 19:30 Dur.: varies with each programme
|Price||£17 (concessions £13)|
|Website||Click here to book via The Place|