By Patricia Boccadoro
PARIS, 23 FEBRUARY 2016 A double "Korean" programme, with the
passing of time as its theme, was presented at the Theatre des Abbesses to
mark the year France-Korea, beginning with a creation by the French
choreographer, Fabrice Lambert for the Korean dancer, Namjin Kim.
Lambert chose to stage a dialogue between the pendulum of Léon Foucault
and the thoughts of Michel Foucault
with Antipode, a poetical creation with a unique atmosphere.
Original and inventive, the work opened upon a rectangle of light on a
darkened stage where one could eventually see a solitary figure behind a
swinging pendulum, suspended from high above the stage. Faceless and
treading backwards as if going back in time, Namjin Kim staggered and
lumbered around the pendulum to the increasing intensity of the score by
Marek Havlicek until the sound grew almost unbearable and the circling
globe took center stage. Interacting with the orb, in what became a duo
rather than a solo, the interpreter was now revealed as a young man, at
one with both the moving pendulum and the score.
Namjin Kim in
Choreography: Fabrice Lambert
In the second part of the programme, the question of time was also at
the center of the very beautiful, dream-like work, As time goes
by, by choreographer, Ju-Hyun Jo, on her first visit to France,
indeed to Europe, with one of her own creations.
Ju-Hyun Jo, dancer Jae-Seung Kim, and singer In-Hye Park are three
highly gifted young artists who got together in Seoul 2 years ago. With
her lovely voice, In-Hye Park, a traditional Korean singer was voted
Young Artist of the Year in 2012, while the tall, handsome Jae-Seung
Kim, his youthful almost adolescent appearance belying his 34 years, is a
traditional Korean dancer capable of interpreting both contemporary and
hip-hop works with the utmost grace and sincerity. Ju-hyun Jo herself
began to work as a choreographer in her homeland after a successful career
dancing with the Washington Ballet in the U.S.A. With artists of the
quality of In-Hye Park and Jae-seung Kim working alongside her and with
the examples of such companies as Tao Dance Theater, eyes
are beginning to turn towards contemporary dance in Asia.
As time goes by is a fascinating, mystical piece based on a
poem or letter written by the choreographers great grandmother over a
century ago. In it, Jung Cha Ok reminisces over the relentless
passage of time, evoking the world of a springtime long past, and
deploring the loss of her youth. At over 70 and no longer recognizing her
reflection in the mirror, she questions the loss of her soft, smooth skin,
her strong, supple body and long, lustrous hair. She doesnt want to grow
old, to fade and wither as do flowers past their prime. But they, she
reminds her reader, will still be there in one hundred years, whilst she
In-Hye Park and
Ja-Seung Kim in As time goes by
The musician, A-Ram Lee has put her words to music, and
Ju-Hyun Jos work begins with music sung by In-Hye Park in
pansori syle, her back to the audience, singing in a low, softly
modulated voice, while Ja-Seung Kim draws pictures in the air with his
fingers, reaching out into the mists of time. Inspired by traditional
Korean dance, it was interpreted with sincerity and charm. The evocative
lighting effects from above the stage caught Jae-Seung Kim in a shaft of
light, enhancing his big, graceful movements. Dance, décor and score
merged into one fluid, coherent whole.
The second movement of the piece, more contemporary, continued with
choreography devised by the interpreter himself to Arvo Parts Spiegel
im Spiegel, followed by excerpts from Schubert. At times, the dancer
moved with quicksilver, high, soft leaps into the air, but it was not so
much that the choreography was inventive as the fact that it was performed
with a freshness and spontaneity rarely seen in modern dance today.
Nothing was forced or labored in this very personal work where gestures
borrowed from hip-hop and influences from the West merged effortlessly
into the whole.
Patricia Boccadoro writes on dance in Europe. She has
contributed to The Guardian, The Observer and Dancing Times and was dance
consultant to the BBC Omnibus documentary on Rudolf Nureyev. Based in
Paris, Patricia Boccadoro is the dance editor for
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