‘HIP’ redefined by three hip choreographers
Spirit of hip hop penetrating contemporary dance
This year, KNCDC’s cross-genre collaborative project, HIP合(HIP HOP),
showcases works digging into the spirit of hip hop, adding more depth and fun.
The three choreographers, Lee Jaeyoung, Jeong Cheolin and Ji Kyungmin,
who have shown their creative capabilities while being active in contemporary dance,
will portray the essence of ‘hip’ that each choreographer has explored on stage.
Lee Jaeyoung(Artistic Director of Company SIGA), who has actively expanded his artistic horizons through a cross-genre collaboration based on his directing ability to create a solid structure of a work, presents a new work titled Mechanism in HIP合(HIP HOP). Lee sees through the essence through a phenomenon, bringing it onto the stage as well as into his own world of art. This time his insight aims at ‘hip hop’ culture. Mechanism focuses on humans placed inside small and large systems, such as space, Earth, civilization and society, and illuminates a ‘movement of resistance’ taking place at times although they live in accordance with the systems.
Everything in this world belongs to a system. Space, Earth, civilization, society and humans exiting in there are all a kind of system.
A body exists within a structure. A body in itself is a structure.
Its mechanism is generated and revealed by dynamics and chemical reactions.
Choreographer Jeong Cheolin(Director of Melancholy Dance Company), who deals with subjects with his outstanding use of objects and powerful movement, delves into ‘deconstruction, autonomy and destruction of boundaries’ in particular among the properties of hip hop culture. In his new piece, Unprotected, Jeong intends to explore what kind of boundaries the human attempts to deconstruct the contemporary rules can break down and how to discover new aspects of unique behaviors and rebellious thoughts. The choreographer translates dangerous but unpredictable circumstances into movement on stage, inspired by some events, accidents and happenings occurring on the roads among different rules.
On the other side of the circumstances created by autonomy and the rules for safety, there are dangers of aggression and violence like road rage.
Unprotected not only experiments with moments of choice for which no one takes responsibility, but also portrays our roads where dynamic pleasure and danger coexist.
Ji Kyungmin(Choreographer of Goblin Party) is a choreographer attracting global attention. He has drawn wide attention both at home and abroad, including UK, Italy and the Czech Republic, for his choreography characterized by a mixture of traditional subjects and contemporary imagination. In HIP合(HIP HOP), Ji stages his new work, Waves, with dancers selected from an audition. This piece embodies the experimental spirit of the choreographer, who attempts to discover the motion of up and down, which is the most basic property of the movement of hip hop dance, deriving naturalness from it. Waves will bring an irreplaceable ‘hip’ energy completed by being natural to the audience.
We imitate these waves. Our movement of rolling and flowing becomes an imitation. We move from head to toe in an orderly manner.
Imagining that the wind blows towards us throughout our whole body, we move slowly as if taking steps one by one. Our flowing and rolling – now these are pretty much like the waves.
Lee Jaeyoung founded the dance company ‘SIGA’ with the aim of talking about life and people and sharing sympathy through dance ‘little by little’ as the name ‘SIGA’ indicates. Choreographer Lee, who is dedicated to broadening his scope of dance gradually, has tried new challenges and adventures in every performance by collaborating with artists from different fields such as theater director, musician, actor/actress, mime artist and installation artist.
Jeong Cheolin, who leads the ‘Melancholy Dance Company,’ has been involved in an array of creative activities, presenting works including Free Fall(2014), Flight(2016), 0g(2018), Übermensch(2019), Your Symptoms(2021) and Mobility(2021). He has been recognized for his choreographic abilities and potential for development in the dance scene. Jeong has established his artistic world as a dancer and choreographer faithfully and enthusiastically, showcasing pieces that resonate with the audience based on an examination of various movements and expression methods with a focus on physicality.
Ji Kyungmin currently serves as a choreographer and dancer of ‘Goblin Party.’ Ji was awarded the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ in 2017, a Minister’s award, from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Among his major choreographic pieces are Silver Knife and Once Upon a Time. After being selected as a project supported by Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Silver Knife was invited by Aerowaves, a European contemporary dance platform, to perform in six regions of Italy and in the Czech Republic. Once Upon a Time was selected as ‘New Work of the Year’ as part of the ARKO Selection project in the dance category organized by the Arts Council Korea, and was also chosen as ‘Repertory of the Year’ by the same organization. In 2019, this work was performed at the Edinburgh Dance Festival(UK) and The Place(UK). It was also invited to the Korean Cultural Center(Abu Dhabi, Washington, D.C., Hungary) and Taiwan Dance Platform.
He has continued to collaborate with different genres while working with the National Changgeuk Company of Korea as a choreographer for such productions as Mr Heungbo and 'Sugung-ga' ('Gwitto' in Korean) as well as a guest choreographer for a new production by the National Dance Company of Korea.