The Korea Herald


Korea National Contemporary Dance Company kicks off season with 'Jungle'

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Feb. 26, 2024 - 19:56

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Dancers rehearse a scene from Dancers rehearse a scene from "Jungle." (KNCDC)

The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company will kick off the 2024 season with a new production entitled “Jungle,” choreographed by Kim Sung-yong, the company's director and artistic director.

“Jungle” is set to be staged April 11-14 at the Seoul Arts Center’s CJ Towol Theater. Kim officially took his position on May 11, 2023, for a three-year term.

In October, Kim’s “Jungle -- Sense and Response” premiered as the opening piece at the International Modern Dance Festival (MODAFE), the country's longest-running festival for modern and contemporary dance, making it his first choreographic work after taking office.

Returning as a full repertory piece, "Jungle" will feature the same 17 dancers who performed in the premiere.

While last year's work showed movements that focused on the “sense and response” captured in the process of dancers making movements, this year's “Jungle” focuses on the dancers’ uniqueness, according to the KNCDC.

Dancers rehearse a scene from Dancers rehearse a scene from "Jungle." (KNCDC)

The jungle appears beautiful from afar, but upon closer inspection, the dancers emanate intense tension.

“Jungle” is choreographed through the creative movements led by the unconventional movement research “Process Init” developed by Kim. It explores the questions and stories exchanged between the choreographer and the dancers, depicting the movements expressed throughout the process.

The KNCDC explained the process as a bilateral one between the choreographer and dancers, going beyond the choreographer unilaterally instructing the dancers to do movements. Dancers create different movements in response to the choreographer’s words.

As part of the performance-related program, the KNCDC will host a screening of the documentary dance film "Listen to Your Body" on March 16. Also choreographed by Kim, the documentary covers the four months from the auditions in July to the actual staging of "Jungle -- Sense and Response" in October.