A Man’s Requiem by SEOP Dance Company
Stunning Korean Theatricality
HOME: South Korea
ROOTS & INFLUENCE: Japan, Mongolia, North & South Korea
SEOP DANCE COMPANY was founded in 1992 by choreographer Kim Yong Chul and is rooted in the traditional Korean dance and cultural consciousness. The company performs works characterized by lyricism and refinement, and aims to bring dance aesthetics to a new level through dynamic individuality and innovation.
The company’s broader, long-term goal is to explore and harmonize with other Asian dance cultures. The diversity and distinction of SEOP Dance Company led them to perform on the stages of various international cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, India, Singapore, Philippines, and Germany, in order to help familiarize international audiences with Korean dance.
SEOP Dance Company is presenting the Midwest premiere of the widely celebrated performance, “A Man’s Requiem”, at the Ordway. Premiering at the World Festival of National Theaters in Korea, “A Man’s Requiem” has successfully toured nine countries and extensively throughout South Korea. This composition explores the powerful theme of “when a sinner dies he must be judged.” “A Man’s Requiem” uses both traditional and contemporary Korean dance techniques to create a stunning display of sound, color, and movement.
“A Man’s Requiem” can be understood from various perspectives; first, as a contemporary theatrical dance work that is completely visually accessible; and second, more deeply as a religious/ritualistic expression of current Korean belief systems relating to death with influences of Buddhism and Christianity. The piece contains elements of both karmic actions and sins, of judgment in the afterlife, and also the notion of reincarnation.
A reviewer from International Arts Manager Magazine said of the piece, “’A Man’s Requiem’, claiming an Asian localism, keeps to be ritualistic and also abstract through its whole duration. Kim Yong Chul, wearing black clothes with colorful wrappings and a white, grotesque face moves in an uncanny and horrifying way to portray the messenger of death … ‘A Man’s Requiem’ reveals Kim Yong Chul’s training in Korean traditional dance and also more abstract exotic methods. The work is very meaningful for its leading role in Korean creative dance with an Asian aesthetic.”
KIM YONG CHUL is the lead performer and choreographer of SEOP Dance Company’s production of A Man’s Requiem. He is trained broadly in Korean traditional, neo-Korean, and creative dance. Additionally, Kim Yong Chul has been influenced by other exotic dance methods like Japanese Noh and Kahuki, and Chinese Beijing opera style. Kim Yong Chul graduated from Keimyung University in South Korea, and received his Master of Arts and PhD at Sejong University, with dissertations entitled, “A Study Towards the Structural Character and Role of Male Dancers in Korean Dance” and “A Study Towards Archetypal Change and Value-Consciousness of Korean Dance in 20th Century.” He has danced in Seoul Metropolitan Dance Theatre, choreographed for Gumi City Dance Company, and has taught at Sejong University, Yong-In Univeristy, Sangmyung University, and Keimyung University.
Kim Hyun Tae
Lee Kwong Suk
Sim Hyun Ju
Yeo Ji Young
ORDWAY EXTRA: Life Movements, Rituals, and Celebrations
Mar 5 | 6:30pm, Marzitelli Foyer
Media artist and community activist, Marlina Gonzalez, will facilitate a discussion on spiritual and ritualistic practices that celebrate life and the after-life. Marlina will be joined by storyteller and author, Phuoc Thi Minh Tran, and storyteller and educator, Banlang Phommasouvanh, in this unique conversation on the application of dance, music, and storytelling as an expression of beliefs about the cycles of life. Panelists will reference practices from Laos, the Philippines, and Vietnam.