A performance by a French-Canadian troupe will open the 16th Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance), the nation’s largest annual dance bash, which kicks off Oct. 7.
One of the most reputable genre showcases here, the event is presented by the local section of the International Dance Council CID-UNESCO. A total of 51 dance companies from 16 countries will present 51 works including some collaborations.
For the festival’s opening performance, French-Canadian company Cas Public will present “Variations S,” a stylish variation of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” that premiered in 2010.
“The dance takes several themes derived from ‘Rite of Spring’ such as spring and sacrifice, which are much related to the youth,” said SIDance organizers.
“The piece focuses on the youth and children going through that ever-so-sensitive period in life.”
|A scene from a work created by Korean choreographer Nam Young-ho. (SIDance)|
The Canadian troupe is also presenting its 2012 work “Duels,” which consists of 15 pairs of dancers, playing roles such as a master encountering a student and a singer meeting a dancer, among others. “The performance deals with a series of unique encounters,” SIDance organizers said.
“There are stories hidden in each duo’s encounter and confrontation. In contrast to the generally minimal set design and lighting, the performance is powerful yet delicate, captivating the audience.”
Other notable performances include “The Sea” by Norwegian troupe Ingun Bjornsgaard Prosjekt. Based on famed Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s work “The Lady from the Sea,” the piece moves between comedy and tragedy while exploring the theme of ambiguous femininity ― a long-held interest of the artist.
“Ingun Bjornsgaard is without question one of Norway’s leading choreographers of the past 20 years,” SIDance organizers said. “The dance draws remarkable balance between the illustrative aspects of theater and abstract dance.”
Korean choreographer Nam Young-ho, on the other hand, will present the world premiere of “Moon Jar” with this troupe La Coree’graphie. The Korean-born, France-based choreographer has long been fascinated with the moon jar, a type of traditional Korean white porcelain that was made during the late 17th through 18th century. Simple in shape and color, the jar is largely known as the epitome of humble Confucian taste.
The jar’s name originates from the porcelain’s round shape and milky white color of the glaze that are reminiscent of a full moon.
The dance “Moon Jar” has been inspired by the traditional Korean porcelain and what it is known for: the humbleness, the lack of self-consciousness, and the beauty of slight imperfections ― the jar does not make a perfect round circle; its round shape is ambiguous and flawed.
A number of Korean choreographers are presenting their works during the upcoming edition of SIDance, in collaboration with overseas artists. The closing performance, for one, is a collaborative work created by Germany-based Korean choreographer Jun In-jung and Australian jazz drummer Simon Barker. Their piece, “Gateless Gate,” is said to combine traditional Korean music with contemporary dance movements.
“It will be a captivating, improvisational performance with primitive and mysterious qualities,” SIDance organizers said.
This year’s SIDance runs from Oct. 7 to 27 at Gangdong Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center and Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center. For tickets and the full lineup, call (02) 3216-1185.
By Claire Lee (email@example.com