STEP UP, a project intended to develop sustainable dance repertoires,
presents two dance pieces that have a clear sense of theme
and their own individual style.
The Death of Vagina: Myth-making Voices
The Death of Vagina: Myth-making Voices
Supposing that the stories of goddesses who were the bridge between humans and nature and the incantation of the body came to an end due to phallogocentrism, what should the next story be?
Mythical keywords like menstruation, bisexualism and death which are built on bodily phenomena are weaved into the story of performers while the future is overwritten on the text of the past.
It is an imagination of a space of reproduction based on synaesthesia and kinship stimulated by feelings of the inner body and storytelling.
The Death of Vagina: Myth-making Voices carries on The Death of Vagina, a premiere production for the 2015 KNCDC Archive Platform. The piece starts from rereading the myths of goddesses that have changed or disappeared in history. It links the stories of “goddessness” that exerted mystical powers in a magical society to the experience of the body, the unconscious, dreams and different forms of sexuality of contemporary women. In this work, we see myths as communal stories including questions about the lives of multiple layers of time and space, shifting away from the view that they are fixed heroic epics. Therefore, we attempt to imagine the future while overwriting the present on the past as an author of a myth which has continued to be written.
Can life itself be a performance? If our performance forms our identity, what will happen to the status of performers performing something on stage? What if some people repeat things they have routinely done on stage?
In We are, which premiered in Salzburg in 2020, Kang Yochan explores the identity of performers with a unique status. Overlapping the movement mediated on the stage with the conditions of reality, the choreographer questions the relationship between performance and identity. An ontological question about performers further makes us reflect on all of our existences who are performing certain roles given to us in real life. Questions arising in the process of blending the matters of complicated identity such as generation, gender, occupation, religion and race with the language of the body and senses. Therefore we are... No, we are?
Suh Yeongran is a choreographer and artistic researcher based in Seoul and Copenhagen. Suh has conducted extensive research on ancient beliefs, traditional dances, rituals and Asia's modernization and has created multifaceted dance performances based on anthropological investigation. Her major works include I Confess My Faith(2012), The God of the Earth Comes Up Imperfectly(2013), The Death of Vagina(2015) and Floating Bottle Project(2016-2019). By comparing the fixed views of contemporary society with traditional worldviews and cosmologies of indigenous people, Suh attempts to broaden our views and expand the possibility of thinking and living in different ways. She is currently working as a member of “Becoming Species,” a performance climate activist group, and as an artistic researcher for the project Sensing Old Age led by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen.
Kang Yochan is a choreographer who pursues a calling as an artist to turn unfamiliar moments into special ones through the body by capturing and recording strange and unusual moments. Since he started his professional career in Europe in 2014, he has continued his artistic activities for over 7 years both at home and abroad, including in Berlin, Milan and Poland, beyond the limits of nation and culture. He was selected as artist-in-residence for the “Wittstock Kunsthaus Residency” in Germany. After finishing a training course at “Leggere Strutture, Bologna” in Italy, he attended and completed a course in choreography at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance(SEAD) in Austria. Since Kang came back to Korea with The Answer, a piece invited to the 2019 Seoul Performing Arts Festival(SPAF), he has created his own world of art, transcending the limitations of genre, movement and thought.