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With new director at helm, Korea National Contemporary Dance Company announces 2020 program

With new artistic director Nam Jeong-ho at the helm, the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company has announced its 2020 season program, featuring dances inspired by diverse subjects, from primitive rituals to artificial intelligence.

At “Opening,” the first production to open 2020, the national dance troupe will feature two dances -- “Beyond Black” and “The Rite of Spring” -- from April 17-19 at the Seoul Arts Center.
 
“Beyond Black” will be presented at the performance of “Opening” in April. (BAKi/KNCDC)
“Beyond Black” will be presented at the performance of “Opening” in April. (BAKi/KNCDC)

“Beyond Black,” created by choreographer Shin Chang-ho, introduces artificial intelligence choreography. Like Shin’s previous works “Man-made” and “IT,” the choreography is a reflection of Shin’s thoughts on the relationship between humans and technology. The dance depicts the contrast between two different methods of data accumulation -- how the dancer’s body remembers the hours of practice and the broad data collection capacity of AI. 

“Hello” will be presented at the performance of “Step Up” in July. (Vojtech Brtnicky Tanec Praha/KNCDC)
“Hello” will be presented at the performance of “Step Up” in July. (Vojtech Brtnicky Tanec Praha/KNCDC)

The troupe’s former artistic director Ahn Sung-soo reinterprets “The Rite of Spring” -- a masterpiece inspired by the primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring that features choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky and music by Igor Stravinsky. The work has now evolved into a signature piece in the repertoire of the dance company, presenting powerful energy and delicate movements.

As part of its classical music series, which previously featured Ravel and Stravinsky, the dance company will stage pieces featuring music by 19th century German composer Brahms, June 12-14. Dancers Kwon Lyon-eun, Kim Bo-ra and Lali Ayguade from Spain are to grace the stage.

Project “Step Up,” designed to give local choreographers the opportunity to build up original works, continues this year from July 10-12. Hwang Soo-hyun’s “Sense of Black,” Lim Jee-ae’s “Mountain, Tree, Cloud, and Tiger Ver. 0,” Kim Chan-woo’s “Hard Disc” and Lim Set-byeol’s “Hello” are to grace the stage.

Director Nam Jeong-ho, a former professor at the Korea National University of Arts, was appointed to the position on Feb. 17. Formerly a member of French dance troupe Cie Jean Gaudin Dance Company in the 1980s, she is one of the most recognized dancers in Korea.

 
Artistic director Nam Jeong-ho (KNCDC)
Artistic director Nam Jeong-ho (KNCDC)

Nam will unveil her new work in October, followed by children’s dance “Rudolph” from Dec. 3-6 for the Christmas season. The dance, based on the question “Was Rudolph really a reindeer?” sold out last year.

Apart from the regular program, the dance company also has 10th anniversary projects slated for October. The troupe will present diverse performances at the Oil Tank Culture Park in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, along with an exhibition and workshops.

For more information, check the KNCDC’s website at www.kncdc.kr/en/main.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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