Sep 16–24, 2005

Performing Arts from Korea

Dance, Theatre

Korea’s extremely innovative and dynamic theatre scene is inspired as much by international developments as it is by the rich diversity of traditional and classical art forms at home, which are currently experiencing quite a transformation. The House of World Cultures is showing these highlights of these developments in the form of three new productions.

In addition to displaying a unique variety of classical art forms, Korea has also witnessed the development of an extremely innovative, urban and internationally oriented theatre scene over the past thirty years. A highly diversified performance scene has evolved in the field of tension between tradition and globalisation, spirituality and the new media, ancestral worship and modern technology. The House of World Cultures is presenting three new productions at the Asia-Pacific Festival. The music theatre piece "A Swallow" (Jebi), performed by the National Theatre of Korea and staged by Lee Youn-taek, who is probably the best-known Korean director, as well as new choreographies by two central figures on the Korean dance scene: Ahn Eun-me and Ahn Ae-soon.

As the Republic of Korea developed into a modern industrial power, there was a tendency for many artists to adapt Western works. In Seoul alone, more than one hundred theatres were established on the western model. Korean soloists and ensembles are well known throughout the world for their interpretations of Western classical and modern music. A significant change in paradigms occurred as Korean artists began to distance themselves from Western modernities and assert their own different modernities. These positions are rooted in the rediscovery and continuation of traditional art forms, whose importance is reflected in the way their masters are revered and patronised as “national treasures”. Alongside architecture, painting and sculpture, it has been Korea’s oral and performative traditions that have given the country its new cultural identity. The remarkable thing is that music, singing, dance and drama are not regarded separately, but have always been considered as equally important for the development of contemporary art forms.

Other events of the Asia-Pacific-Weeks at the House of World Cultures are the project "Spaces and Shadows", the open air-event Nomadic Plaza, and a concert by Grace Nono.

Within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Weeks, which are supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DKLB).