London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

2023 Festival of Korean Dance programme details announced

Here’s the official press release for the 2023 Festival of Korean dance, which takes place a little earlier this year. For the first time audiences in Salford, Coventry and Brighton will be able to enjoy some of the performances.

Festival of Korean Dance 2023

24 April – 11 May 2023

Sung Im Her
Sung Im Her. Photo: Keun Ou Choi

The annual Festival of Korean Dance will be returning to The Place for its sixth year in April, and for the first time, tours show nationally to venues in Manchester, Coventry and Brighton. Five companies will be performing in the festival in a series of three programmes of work, with returning favorites including Korea National Contemporary Dance Company – who headlined the very first festival – choreographer Sung Im Her, Art Project BORA and Company SIGA. The Place, Korean Cultural Centre UK and the Korea Arts Management Service are delighted to add the Lowry, Warwick Arts Centre and Dance Space Brighton to their continuing partnership.

Opening the festival at the Lowry (24 April) before appearing at The Place (28 – 29 April), Korea National Contemporary Dance Company will present a new double bill of work, each featuring six dancers: Mechanism by Jaeyoung Lee and Everything Falls Dramatic by Sung Im Her. Jaeyoung Lee’s new work plays with our understanding of what ‘human interaction’ means through a rhythmic score and an intense pattern or intricate synchronised movement. Meanwhile, the new work from Korean trained, London-based Sung Im Her is a meditation on fragility, resilience, loneliness and solidarity. Following the 2021 Festival’s W.A.Y. (Rework), she is once again collaborating with Belgian composer Husk Husk.

They will be followed by a double bill from Choi X Kang Project and Art Project BORA at The Place (3 May). A Complementary Set: Disappearing with an Impact by Choi X Kang Project is an optical illusion, combining live performance with recorded footage to distort perceptions of past and present, calling into question what’s disappeared and what exists. The new work is the third in a series which started with Complement, which premiered at the Festival in 2019. From Art Project BORA, Byeol Yang develops forms from the state of the body as a starting point to discussing the world around us. In the 2022 Festival, Art Project BORA dismantled a piano live onstage in MUAK.

Also on 3 May, the final programme is a triple bill from Company SIGA and Howool Baek, making her UK premiere, which will open at Warwick Arts Centre before performances at The Lowry (6 May), The Place (9 May) and closes the festival at The Dance Space (11 May). Howool Baek presents two pieces of work: Foreign Body, a short film about bodies that do not fit within the framework of society are treated as foreign bodies and ultimately rejected, and Did U Hear, a dance interpretation of rapper 2PAC’s poem The rose that grew from concrete. Howool Baek has toured internationally, winning awards in Spain, Germany and Poland. From Company SIGA, Rush is about pausing to listen to your own rhythms of your body,and realising that one man’s slow is another man’s rush. For the 2021 Festival, Company SIGA presented a double bill of Equilibrium and ZERO.

Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director of The Place said, “We are delighted to be working with our friends at The Lowry, Warwick Arts Centre & The Dance Space to share these exceptional shows from Korea with more people across the UK. Thanks to our partnership with Korean Cultural Centre UK and the Korea Arts Management Service we are now in our sixth year of profiling Korean dance in London and it continues to be a pleasure to showcase such eclectic and innovative work – we can’t wait for this year’s programme.”

Sungeun Kim, Interim Director of the Korean Cultural Centre UK, said “This year, we are delighted to mark the 140th anniversary of friendship between the UK and Korea and continue to host the Korean dance festival for 6 years in partnership with The Place and Korea Arts Management Service. We believe that the festival has contributed to the enhancement of cultural diversity and exchange between the two countries. To reach out to more UK audiences, we have launched a UK tour this year and we are delighted to have The Lowry, Warwick Arts Centre and The Dance Space on board.”

Young Ho Moon, President of the Korea Arts Management Service, said “We congratulate A Festival of Korean Dance as they begin their 6th year in the capital and embark upon a stunning new national tour. It has been a pleasure working with the festival and helping them to bring so many talented artists to the attention of UK audiences including Art Project BORA, Company SIGA, and the Choi X Kang Project who were selected by the Performing Arts Market in Seoul(PAMS) last year. We look forward to continuing to work with the Place and the Korean Cultural Centre UK on the festival.”

Listings information

KNCDC double bill: Mechanism and Everything Falls Dramatic

  • 24 April: The Lowry, 7.30pm, £16-£14
  • 28 – 29 April: The Place, 7.30pm, £18-£14

Double Bill: A Complementary Set: Disappearing with an Impact and Byeol Yang

  • 3 May: The Place, 7.30pm, £18 – £14

Kontemporary Korea: A Triple-Bill of K:Dance: Foreign Body, Did U Hear and Rush

  • 3 May: Warwick Arts Centre, 7.45pm, £16 – £14
  • 6 May: The Lowry, 8pm, £14 – £12
  • 9 May: The Place, 7.30pm, £18 – £14
  • 11 May: The Dance Space, 7.30pm, £12 – £10


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.