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Recording: 2015-08-29 , Tanz im August 2015 | Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Korea National Contemporary Dance Company / Ahn Aesoon


Tanz im August 2015 | Volksbühne Berlin

Production Details / Press Releases

In “Bul-ssang” the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC) brings on stage a complex, contemporary world of its artistic director, choreographer Ahn Aesoon. The title, Bulssang, is the Korean word for pity, but it also refers to a Buddhist statue. Ahn portrays the multi-cultural and multi- faceted reality between East and West, between past and present as a highly contemporary mixture of symbols, signs and movement. Here, she combines her contemporary choreographic thinking with Korean traditional dance aesthetics, but she has also researched different movement styles such as Kathak, martial arts, traditional Korean Jindo Drum Dance or K-pop to create a truly contemporary movement vocabulary. The dancers embody this brilliantly moving with ease from urban dance to post-modern, blending acrobatic with everyday movement. The colorful stage design of Buddhist statues, plastic plates, and masks is an installation by Korean Pop/visual artist Choi Jeonghwa, and the company is joined by DJ Soulscape live on stage. As a result, “Bul-ssang” is a visually rich blend of the sacred and profane, examining the contradictions and paradoxes in the mids of Korea’s rapid modernization. The combination of dance, image, and sound illustrates the relentless transformation of contemporary existence and the search for identity, as envisioned by Ahn, who created this ground-breaking work in 2009. Ahn has been a leading figure of South Korean dance for several decades, after establishing her own company in 1985. She took over the artistic directorship of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company in 2013, just three years after its founding.

As a choreographer, Ahn Aesoon combines traditional Korean dance aesthetics with contemporary influences. Ahn studied dance at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and in 1985 founded her own ensemble, the Ahn Aessoon Dance Company, with which she toured internationally and won numerous prizes. In 1992 she was the first Korean woman to take part in the choreographic competition Les Rencontres choréographiques international de Seine Saint-Denis. As artistic director of the Hanguk Performing Arts Center, she has organised the annual Seoul Performing Arts Festival since 2010. In 2013 she took over the artistic directorship of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company. In seeking to develop Korean contemporary dance as a choreographer, Ahn’s multicultural approach gave rise to dance that reflects Korean identity, history, and culture. This artistic vision naturally leads to a successful experimentation with topics and messages that are highly relevant in contemporary Korean society. Her choreography emanates Korean sensations and aesthetics with exceptional compositions and evocative rhythm. Ahn’s ability to help dancers manifest their fullest potential and her expression of courageous contemporary dance through interdisciplinary collaboration has been widely praised by national and international audiences and critics alike.

Cast & Credits

Choreography: Ahn Aesoon
Kim Yun, Kim Jong, Kim Kimono, Kim Kimono, Kim Kimono, Kim Yuno, Kim Hoyeon, Kim Yuno, Kim Jong, Kim Yun, Kim Yun, Kim Yun,
Artistic design: Choi Jeonghwa
Music: DJ Soulscape
Stage design: Kim, Jongseok
Light: Ryou, Backhee
Costume: In the Sunoc
Stage technology: Jo Eunjin
Light (programming): Shin Jisun
Lighting: Joo Kyum
Stage technology: Jeong Gwangjin, Park Jonghoon
Planning: Kang Sunok, Uh Jean
Premiere: LG Arts Center (2009)
Supported by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.
With the kind support of the Cultural Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Berlin.
In cooperation with the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

Tanz im August 2015
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Production management: Sven Neumann
Artistic collaboration & project management: Andrea Niederbuchner
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
Supported by Aventis Foundation.

Volksbühne Berlin

Linienstr. 227
10178 Berlin

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

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