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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

A K:Dance triple bill

The annual Festival of Korean Dance will be returning to The Place for its sixth year in April, and for the first-time touring shows nationally to venues in Salford, Coventry and Brighton.

Hinton spoke with choreographers Howool Baek and Company SIGA who talk about their triple bill performance

Showcasing a triple bill of K:Dance with Rush, Did U Hear and Foreign Body are leading Korean choreographers Howool Baek and Company SIGA.

Rush from Company SIGA is centred around the concept of the fast-paced nature of modern life and aims to convey the message that it is crucial to not get swept away in the chaos and to prioritize taking care of oneself. “It’s a reflection on the importance of being strong and persevering towards our goals, even if it means moving at a slower pace. Ultimately, I hope to inspire audiences to find their path and pursue it with resilience and self-care.” The theme of the show is centred around dance, meditation, and inner strength, significantly influenced by the choreographer’s lifestyle. “In an infinite and competitive society, I always felt the need to step ahead of someone and never be left behind. I wanted to discover who I am and what I truly like, but unfortunately, I couldn't. These challenging circumstances left me feeling depressed. However, now I’m trying to engage in self-reflection through this work as a means to consider my life as a whole.”

Two of the pieces are presented by Howool Baek, who will be making her UK premier in a solo performance with live music titled Did U Hear, the body interpretation of the poem ‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’, written by rapper 2PAC. The piece exposes a process of deconstruction of the body into individual life, and discovers various shapes of body images through harmonious connection and extension. When the fragmented bodies have their own voices and when they build an image, the body has its own story of poem and awake the sense beyond it.

Dance film Foreign Body was originally an hour stage piece with three dancers. Using the characteristics of the digital stage, the three dancers are multiplied into dozens or hundreds of people and dance through the city. It digitally deals with foreignness in our society. The 10 episodes sensitively tell of strange encounters and familiar group dynamics that are thought-provoking in the increasingly alienated society in which we live. Baek explains how anyone could be a foreign body - anywhere.

By breaking stereotypes about the body, Howool Baek wants the audience to have a new experience with the body and to look at society from a different perspective. Recently, she expanded the concept of the stage to the digital space and is experimenting with her own choreography method on the digital stage. “I see Korean contemporary dance as very technical and has dynamic movements and various dance styles (traditional, street dance, pop dance, etc) combined.” Expect a different experience from the dance works created before, according to the choreographer.

When asked about Korean contemporary dance and style of choreography, SIGA said "I believe that performance has a distinct identity that is not limited to Korea, because each country has its own distinct culture, lifestyle, and way of valuing life, all of which are reflected in the performance.

“I hope the audience takes a moment to reflect on their own lives and ask themselves about their past experiences and how they envision their future. I also want them to have a deep therapeutic experience during the performance.”

Triple Bill | Foreign Body & Did U Hear & Rush – 3, 6, 9, 11 May

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