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지나쌤

‘A Ghost Day’ blends Korean traditions with contemporary circus

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Dec. 22, 2023 - 14:17

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Dancers rehearse a scene from Dancers rehearse a scene from "A Ghost Day." (Ahn Hyeong-jun/Jubin Company)

The new dance production “A Ghost Day” blends traditional Korean dance with a contemporary circus, featuring the theme of Korean ghosts.

Choreographed by artistic director Kim Ju-bin of Jubin Company, "A Ghost Day" is set to be performed at the Arko Arts Theater on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.

Drawing inspiration from historical accounts found in "Dongguksesigi" -- a book that compiled events and seasonal customs in the late Joseon era, the dance drama is based on the idea of Ghost Day, which falls on Jan. 16 of the lunar calendar.

According to records, on Ghost Day people would take the day off and stay at home to avoid being haunted or falling ill by ghosts, which freely roam around different places on this day.

Dancers rehearse a scene from Dancers rehearse a scene from "A Ghost Day." (Ahn Hyeong-jun/Jubin Company)

"A Ghost Day" presents a modern interpretation of Korean traditions, including notdaribalgi (a traditional game of walking across a human bridge), ganggangsullae (a ritual performed by people dancing in a circle, joining hands, singing and engaging in games involving mimes), and the folktale "The Sun and the Moon."

The production was made in collaboration with Anna Nilsson from the contemporary circus and dance company Petri Dish, which is dually based out of Sweden and Belgium.

Meanwhile, Kim, who began his choreography career with "Der Gute Mensch (The Good Person)" in 2017, was invited to the 2022 Chuncheon Arts Festival with his dance work "Sedarim" (2019).