Saturday, September 1, 2012

Choreographers to show quintessence of modern dance

Who wants to shake their body?

Dancers selected by choreographers Jeon Mi-sook and Chung Eui-sook hold a rehearsal for Jeon’s work “Talk to Igor,” which will be performed at the the Theater Yong in Seoul on Sept. 8 and 9.

/ Courtesy of the Korea National Contemporary Company

Korea’s leading choreographers are bringing their imaginative world of modern dance to the stage next week.

Jeon Mi-sook and Chung Eui-sook will present their respective works “Talk to Igor” and “The Last Supper” in collaboration with the Korea National Contemporary Company, at the Theater Yong in Seoul on Sept. 8 and 9.

“Both of them are already well known for the outstanding quality of their work,” said Bang Hyung-il, an organizer at the dance company, Friday. “We aim to introduce such excellent pieces to the public.”

Born in 1958, Jeon is a professor of the dance department at the Korea National University of Arts, known for her “detailed” choreography.

Her “Amore, Amore Mio,” which was dedicated to world famous choreographer Pina Bausch in 2010, received an award for good choreography by The Korean Society of Dance Critics.

“Talk to Igor” is the professor’s interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “Les Noces,” or “The Wedding” in English which was originally choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska in 1923.

As the title implies, it is about the concept, ideal and reality of marriage. While Nijinska focused on passage rites of a young couple in traditional Russian society, Jeon instead looks at marriage as a “pledge or union between two individuals” and concentrates more on the independent role of marriage. In order to convey the message, she excludes the romance elements in her creation.

Chung is currently CEO of the Arzid Contemporary Dance Company and a dance professor at Sungkyunkwan University. The 60-year-old has long worked on combining dance with dynamic visual imagery and reflecting the spirit of the times with fun elements.

She has choreographed a dance version of the 15th century painting “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. In her creation, which highlights the relationship between the 12 disciples, Chung describes them as “workmates who share blood and fate together” and all “suspicion and hostility towards each other are basically human nature.”

“I wanted to focus on personal stories of individuals and compare them with people in today’s society,” Chung said in a statement released Tuesday.

The two artists picked 22 dancers themselves from the contemporary company through an open audition and other screening processes. Those selected differ in age group while coming from diverse dance backgrounds.

Tickets cost 15,000 won for each show. For more information, call (02) 3472-1420 or visit

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