A dance festival with many first steps

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A dance festival with many first steps


Aterballetto, an Italian dance company led by Mauro Bigonzetti. Provided by the organizer

THE SIDance international dance event, which opened in 1998, can claim many “firsts.” For example, it was the first venue to bring contemporary dance to Korea from Russia, Finland, Cuba and Mexico.
The festival, which opens on Oct 4 in theaters across Seoul, creates another “first” this year, including “Herstory” in which two veteran Korean dancers will perform minsalpuri, a minimalist form of Korean dance presided over by a shaman to exorcise evil spirits. The performers are Jang Geum-do and Jo Gap-nyo, two of the few surviving dancers in the genre, who learned their moves from gisaeng during the colonial era. For both, SIDance will be their first public performance.
The festival opens at the National Theater of Korea with “Homage to Bach” and “Rossini Cards” by Aterballetto, an Italian dance company led by Mauro Bigonzetti, whose choreography is often likened to a sleek Renaissance sculpture. The troupe originally presented the piece to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death.
The festival will also present the United Kingdom’s Russell Maliphant Company, Tommi Kitti from Finland and “Carmen” by Compania de Danza Aida Gomez from Spain.
Another highlight is “The Third Movement ― African Contemporary Dance Collection” by three young African dancers who mix jazz rhythms and hip hop. During the festival organizers also invite contemporary Korean dancers to stage experimental shows at galleries, airports, cafes and streets.

SIDance runs from Oct. 4 through 27 at various theaters in Seoul. For more information call (02) 3216-1185.

By Park Soo-mee Staff Writer [myfeast@joongang.co.kr]
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