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Second show in Sejong Center’s Contemporary S project looks at fine line between art and prank

Poster image for “Japari” (Sejong Center for the Performing Arts)
Poster image for “Japari” (Sejong Center for the Performing Arts)

In his upcoming contemporary dance show, dancer and choreographer Kim Seol-jin offers a close look at the fine line between art and prank.

Kim, who is well known for his modern dance works and has also appeared in many musicals, films and dramas, is to present his latest work at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, July 15-19.

The show, “Japari,” is part of the theater’s Contemporary S project, launched last year with ballerina Kim Ju-won’s sold-out show “Tango Ballet 3 Minutes: Su Tiempo.” Contemporary S shows take place in the Sejong Center’s S Theater, a black box theater dedicated to contemporary works.

“Japari” is a Jeju Island expression meaning a prank or a joke. Kim Seol-jin, who will perform in the show and choreograph it, was born and raised on the southern island.

Through intense body movements and delicate emotional expressions, the show deals with the raw emotions of an artist, delving into the fine line between prank and art, the Sejong Center said.

Director Min Joon-ho, who has worked with Kim on multiple occasions, heads the project.

“‘Japari’ is a word that perfectly suits Kim -- a special artist who comes from Jeju Island,” Min said. “Through the show, I hope to reinterpret ‘japari’ of Kim that are hard to understand, express his distinctive movements and imagination.

“The show stresses movements that may seem like a joke to some, but may have a special meaning for others,” he said. “This performance is a physical monodrama of a struggling ego that continues to find something new through numerous ‘japari’ of art.”

Tickets cost between 40,000 won and 60,000 won ($33 and $49.60), and will be available starting Wednesday through major ticket reservation websites.

By Im Eun-byel (