Friday, 2 June 2017

Mind Dramaturgy: Lee Kyung @ Edfringe 2017

Lee K. Dance - supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea


UK Premiere

Award-winning Korean choreographer Lee Kyung Eun exorcises the spirit of our confusing world in her intense and visceral solo piece

Dance Base, 16 – 27 Aug 2017 (not 21), 17:40 (18:10)

In this solo performance, choreographer and dancer Lee Kyung Eun explores Korean shamanic ritual and the nature of the individual in the chaotic world, one of a showcase of five Korean productions arriving at the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In a physically intense half hour, Lee Kyung Eun examines goblins of both the mind and body. Interrogating the idea that her mind and body is a universe of its own, she becomes simultaneously the possessed spirit and the shaman who practices the rite of exorcism. Her body catches itself, stretches out, searches for space, exploring her territory, investigating and listening to herself. Voices of different languages ​​mingle with the throbbing music of Jimmy Sert’s sound design, an incantation and a supplication that chimes with the ritualistic movement.

The power of the body is central to Lee's work, and through her career she has rewritten the history of Korean dance, rebelling against the typical female dancer, and creating a new character, provocative, androgynous, conceptual and popular.

The Korean rituals that inspired Lee are designed to expel the Dokkaebi, powerful but foolish spirits that can also resemble a grotesque and humorous looking goblin. The rituals can involve hunting the spirits by making loud metallic crashing sounds, applying blood-soaked towels to bamboo canes around the house, and never looking behind yourself - to avoid seeing the spirit and become the object of his vengeance. In this performance, the foolish and confusing world is the Dokkaebi, and the entire performance the exorcism.

Lee said, “Authentic art with the spirit can easily communicate with anyone”.

Lee K. Dance is a professional contemporary dance company established by the choreographer Lee Kyung Eun in 2002. Based on the art philosophy that “Authentic art with the spirit can easily communicate with anyone”, Lee K Dance continues to evolve a distinct identity through its collaborations with other genres based on its passion for creation, its open mind, and its flexible yet powerful dance techniques.

1. What was the inspiration for this performance?

This goblin (a Dokkaebi) has interesting things that appear differently in the stories and histories of the East and the West. In the West, Dokkaebi is like a ghost like Dracula in the West, but Dokkaebi, which appears in oriental and especially Korean folklore, is also a friendly and affectionate friend to humans. By putting together the different viewpoints of these two worlds, we collide with each other the parts that we want to conceal in the inner world (mind), and this also reveals the process of recognizing and harmonizing myself as a win-win situation. Perhaps it may reveal the East and the West philosophy as a process of win-win cooperation through Dokkaebi gut(performance of exorcism).

2. Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

It is the inner scenery where every ordinary person fights through life. The struggling process is shown as one body, one body when it comes to the world. It is not the nature of life that has only one human being whose environment for living is removed.
The manner in which the body interprets and expresses the spirit and coexistence of the five elements (fire, water, wood, gold, and earth) in oriental philosophy will be a fairy tale space where the audience can look at themselves. I hope that the process of reviving art through the body will allow the audience to have a chance to discuss how the image of the heartbeat can be imaged beyond the imagination of the choreographer.

3. How did you become interested in making performance?

I was always interested in the usual Oriental philosophy or traditional themes, such as the goblins, Korean shamanic ritual, and the nature of the individual in the chaotic world. Then, Anita Matieu, director of Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, commissioned the production.

SIDance and the Festival in France co-produced this piece and it was premiered in France in May 2016 through a one-year production process, and premiered Korea in October of the same year.

4. Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

First, I did a research on the subject of the goblin. He has focused on visualizing the goblins of the Dokkaebi gut (exorcism), the five elements and yin and yang, the inner idea and abstraction. I made a detailed approach to the imagined image through artistic approach and movement research.

5. Does the show fit with your usual productions?

My choreography theme approaches the authentic self - story with the subject of ordinary human being. This work is also consistent with the theme, especially based on the Oriental philosophy, the body began with the premise and tried to experiment with intense artistic expression.

6. What do you hope that the audience will experience?

The situation in which a human being struggles for 30 minutes on stage may be a thumbnail of life for 30 years or 300 years. I want to experience the catharsis through fairy tale and acceptance with the feeling of seeing the gut (exorcism), and to be a chance to contemplate life naturally like water.

7. What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

It is a picture of the human body itself, not a special or distant story. In order to realise the same situation as the audience, it is a strategy that hopes to project the audience through an authentic performance, eliminating the accessories and standing on the stage with one empty body in the empty space. How to solve also comes in a given situation. Is not life so alone? This is a strategy.

Mind-Goblin is part of a showcase of Korean shows at the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea - consisting of MEDEA on mediaBehind the MirrorTAGO: Korean Drum, Mind-Goblin and SNAP.

Lee Kyung Eun was awarded Performer Prize from the Korean Association of Dance Critics and Researchers for the piece Mind-Goblin in 2016, and Best New Dancer from the Contemporary Dance Association of Korea for her debut Wavering Heart in 1996. Lee was acknowledged nationally and internationally for her talents as a choreographer when she was awarded the Gold Prize at the 4th Korean Choreographer Festival and when she received first place at the 8th International Solo Tanz Theatre Festival in Germany. She was also awarded Best Choreographer at the 2003 Dance Festival for the Critics' Choice of Young Artists. She received 2nd Grand Atelier Choregraphes-Compositeurs at the Royaumont Foundation. She has performed at SIDance, MODAFE, SPAF, the Tokyo Dance Biennale (Japan), the APAP/Dumbo Festival (US), Fondation Royaumont (France), Sziget Festival (Hungary), Kaay Fecc/Makinu Bantu (Africa) and in Germany. Her major works include This is Not a Dream, Chunmong (A Spring Dream), Between, OFF destiny, One, Two, Five, With Momo, Hide the Eye, Tears and Eye.

Company Information

Choreographed and performed by Lee Kyung Eun
Sound design by Sert Jimmy Lighting design by Gang Young Ku
Dramaturgy by Ahn Kyungmo Costume by Lee Kyung Eun
Co-produced by SIDance and Les Rencontres chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis

Listings information
Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU (Venue 22)
16 – 27 Aug (not 21), 17:40-18:10
Previews 16 Aug: £10 (£8 concs)
17 – 27 Aug: £12 (£10 concs) | 0131 225 5525

Supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea.

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