Sunday, 23 September 2012

Concerts: Past and Future

Pierre Rigal (Image Source)
I recently went to see two performances.

French choreographer Pierre Rigal (official website) presented a dance performer with Korean dancers called "Theatre of Operations" at the LG Arts Center. The performance was set in a post-apocalyptic landscape and contextualised as some type of scientific observation of a civilization going through different phases of development, oscillating from beast to man, from innocence to violence, from community to individuality, from intimacy to apathy -- often in disturbingly short moments. True to Rigal's style, the performance was surrealistic and emotional. Many of the scenes will stay with me for a long time.

Hwang Sehee (Image Source)
I also went to the Kumho Art Hall, a community theatre that supports young artists introduced to me by a friend, to see a harp recital. The recital was by young Hwang Sehee. When I told my students about it they were very impressed. Apparently there are only three professional harpists in Korea, making it exceedingly rare to enjoy a harp recital. I assume that Hwang Sehee must be an apprentice of one of these three classical musicians. My students also said that the western harp is such a rare exotic instrument in Korea that people that a students who actually owns one can more easily get into one of the Ivy League schools (or SKY-universities, as the are known here: Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University). Hwang Sehee performed eight pieces in total, showing a great dexterity in different genres. My favourite piece was Ami Maayani's Maqamat. (Listen to another harpist performing it here.) Her rendition of Henriette Renie's Dance of the Goblins was also particularly nice.

In the following months I'm looking forward to a number of productions coming to Korea.

The one I cannot wait for is Aurélia Thierrée's production Murmures des murs that will be performed in Korea in middle October. Aurélia Thierrée's production

Aurélia Thierrée is following in the footsteps of her mother Victoria Thierrée Chaplin's footsteps to create fantasic theatrical illusions that transport the audience into a magical world. 

Also on my radar is acclaimed theatre director Jung-Ung Yang. His award winning (2009) adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt will be showing in October as well. 

Yang is known for his ability to create imaginary spaces: "One simple space turns into a village, forest, beach and other imaginary places, which create a dynamic theatrical experience."

Another dance performance also at the LG Arts Center will be the Korean Doo Dance Theater's "Forethought-Promerheus'Fire", in November. I really love the aesthetics of bodies in motion and I'm eager to see this one.

I might also be helping out with the choreography for a production later this year. A Korean friend of mine is a director and she is putting on Macbeth again and asked my input for the fighting choreography. It will depend on our schedules though.

There is always great art and theatre to experience in Seoul, but in the Fall season it is especially wonderful. I love this time of the year!


Christine said...

You should check out Catrin Finch's music. She's another good harpist.

Skryfblok said...

I'll do that, thanks.