South Korea

Jeon Misook Dance Company

Bow

Among Korea’s contemporary choreographers, Jeon Misook is an extraordinary voice, yet she constantly and courageously refuses to give in to the expectation that she is to continually produce new works. Instead, she takes her time and puts her creations through a prolonged process of densification. The basis of her movement language comes from ballet, which she defamiliarises and extends. Drawing on influences from Asian martial arts, she gives it a different style and changes its colour. Theatrical elements, including those from the repertoire of traditional Korean gestures, are also added. This can be experienced in Bow, which is to have its European premiere at the Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps. In this piece, Misook closely examines one of her country’s typical customs: bowing. Sometimes a greeting gesture, sometimes a show of respect towards elders or hierarchical superiors – behind an ostensibly simple bending of the upper body, there reside complex contexts of meaning that cannot be read by outsiders. In a tour de force of dance, Misook scrutinises this multilayered form of communication. By breaking it down and repeating it beyond recognition, she causes a strict code of conduct to suddenly become something incredibly revolutionary. The highly virtuosic and brilliantly trained dancers are able to implement every nuance of Misook’s intentions. A thoroughly worthwhile encounter with the contemporary Korean dance scene.

Jeon Misook

Jeon Misook

Jeon Misook of Korea completed a course of study at London Contemporary Dance School, which she says heavily influenced her approach to choreography in particular. She has been running her own ensemble since 1989. In her works, she concentrates on social issues and questions of identity. Although her contemplative and highly detailed way of creating means that her oeuvre encompasses only a few creations, she is one of Korea’s most famous and influential dance personalities. Picture: BAKI

Programme:

Bow

Choreography:

Jeon Misook

Music:

Kim Jaeduck

Costumes:

Choi Insook

Lighting:

Kim Junghwa

Dancers:

Lim Satbyeol, Yoon Nara, Lee Joohee, Yang Jiyeon, Han Yoonjoo, Song Seunguk, Bae Hyunwoo, Choi Seungmin, Kim Seunghyun, Shin Hoyoung

Supported by:

SIDance, Arts Council Korea, PAMS (Performing Arts Market in Seoul)

Premiere:

9th of September 2017, Kuala Lumpur City Hall Auditorium (Malaysia)

European premiere of the long version