Prepare To Be Mesmerised: A Festival Of Korean Dance At The Place

A Festival of Korean Dance, The Place ★★★★☆

Hari Mountford
By Hari Mountford Last edited 60 months ago

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Last Updated 03 June 2019

Prepare To Be Mesmerised: A Festival Of Korean Dance At The Place A Festival of Korean Dance, The Place 4

Korean dance may not be something on your radar — admittedly, in London at least, it doesn’t rival the popularity of ballet or the following of street dance — until now. A Festival of Korean Dance, currently running at The Place, is the UK’s first festival of Korean Dance: the venture aims to introduce the diversity and skill of this little-known art to an entirely new audience. From the reaction to the opening night, they may just be on to something.

The festival’s opening performance saw Modern Table Dance Company take to the stage, a cast of eight male dancers and three musicians who managed to completely entrance the theatre’s 200-strong audience for a full hour. Dressed all in white, the dancers created their own music for the first five minutes through the use of their breath. With fluid movements, gymnastic-style backflips and an intense amount of strength, the dancers appeared half acrobat-half dancer, yet with an intense musicality, reacting seamlessly to the music.

Photo: Kunu Kim

Although the dance was contemporary in style, the live music accompaniment felt wholly traditional — in fact, the stringed Korean instruments, known as Ajaeng, were almost unrecognisable to a Western audience.

Yet more Korean dance is to be revealed for the next performances as part of the festival — Art Project BORA, a feminist dance troupe whose work crosses genre boundaries, will perform a double bill on 4 June, before Choi X Kang Project and Goblin Party demonstrate their experimental choreography on 7 June. Prepare to be mesmerised — this will be unlike anything you’ve seen before.

A Festival of Korean Dance, The Place, 17 Duke's Road, WC1H 9PY UK. Tickets from £13, until 7 June 2019.