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Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s ‘Asylum’ to unveil at 2019 MODAFE

The world premiere of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s “Asylum” will open the 38th International Modern Dance Festival (MODAFE) at Arko Arts Theater on May 16.

The Israel-based dance company’s most recent work, “Asylum,” which touches on the on-going issues of refugees, immigration, and asylum seekers.

Born to a family of Holocaust survivors in 1957, artistic director Rami Be’er has translated his own experience, troubled emotions and identity crisis into a dance. 

A scene from “Asylum,“ a new work by Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s new work (Eyal Hirsch)
A scene from “Asylum,“ a new work by Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s new work (Eyal Hirsch)

Dancers in dark outfits perform powerful and somewhat grotesque movements, paired with distinctive facial expressions of despair and psychological exhaustion. Dissonant, hypnotic and sometimes jolting sounds that are repeated, as well as sounds from a Hebrew song titled “Ugah, Ugah,” accompany the dance.

The dance company will also hold an open Q&A session after its first performance at Arko Arts Theater Main Hall in Seoul. The company director Be’er and the production’s three Korean dancers, Kim Su-jeong, Seok Jin-hwan and Jung Jung-woon will join the production.

After the second performance on May 17, the production will travel to Warsaw, Paris and Herzliya, Israel before ending its tour on Jan. 23, 2020 in Ganei Tikva, also in Israel.

The 2019 MODAFE features a total of 27 productions by dance companies from 13 countries, during its two-week run through May. 30.

Other foreign productions at the international contemporary dance festival include choreographer Yui Kawaguchi’s “Andropolaroid 1.1,” an autobiographical work based on the Japanese choreographer’s immigration experience in Germany.

“Deep Dish,” a collaboration between Paris-based visual artist Michel Blazy and Chris Haring, a choreographer at Vienna-based dance company Liquid Loft, will be performed, inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.”

“Kudoku,” a collaboration between choreographer Daniele Ninarello and composer Dan Kinzelman, features Ninarello performing a succession of hypnotic movements to the sounds by Kinzelman.

A scene from “HereThere” by choreographer Ahn Ae-soon (Film Age)
A scene from “HereThere” by choreographer Ahn Ae-soon (Film Age)

In “HereThere” by Korean choreographer Ahn Ae-soon, a former artistic director of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, Korea’s folk dance known as Ganggangsullae is reinvented. The dance will be performed by Asia Dance Community, a Gwangju-based Asia Culture Center’s dance company, which consists 17 dancers from Korea and other Asian countries, including India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The annual dance festival will close with “HomoLudens,” a joint work by choreographers Frankie Johnson, Kim Kyung-shin and Kim Hyung-nam. Eleven dancers from the three dance companies of the choreographers will perform along with Johnson, who is also a well-known dancer.

By Shim Woo-hyun (
Korea Herald Youtube