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Korean contemporary dancers perform in Paris

All News 11:17 June 10, 2016

PARIS, June 10 (Yonhap) -- A Korean traditional dance performance captured the eyes and minds of its French audience at the time-honored Chaillot National Theater in Paris on Thursday night.

Korea National Contemporary Dance Company performed "Already Not Yet" as the opening event of "Focus Coree," which is part of the on-going cultural exchanges between the two countries to mark the 130th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties.

The performance is a reinterpretation of Korean traditional shaman rituals and takes its theme from a wooden sculpture that decorates a coffin.

The performance by Korean dancers at the theater marked the first since Korean legendary dancer Choi Seung-hee performed there under her Japanese name Sai Shoki in June 1939.

The work, premiered at the Arko Performing Arts Center in Seoul in 2014, has been slightly modified to give it more dramatic introduction and highlight by inserting scenes of nudity and to make it easier for foreigners unfamiliar to Korean tradition to understand while keeping its basic structure intact.

The 1,200-seat theater was filled with applause and cheers after the 1.5 hour performance finished. Despite the show's abstract, philosophical content that depicts an intangible world, the French audience seemed to have enjoyed the performance that was new, to say the least, to them.

"It wasn't easy to understand because it was too abstract, but I generally enjoyed it. I liked the introduction in particular, and performers' expressiveness were remarkable," said one attendee.

"I decided to come for this Korean show after I'd recently enjoyed an Asian dance performance. I will visit again for another Korean show," he said.

"It was very impressive to see various (Korean traditional) masks in the beginning," said another. "The show was a great chance to feel Korean culture which had been, so far, somewhat vague. I want to know more about it," he said.

Director Ahn Ae-soon explained that "The work is designed to give a message to reflect on life through death in a time and space where past, present and future are mixed together."

"It is meaningful to show this Korean contemporary performance and have it acknowledged on the world stage," she said.


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