Edinburgh Fringe 2017
“Identifying the foolish spirit of this confusing world as a mind goblin, Lee Kyung-eun spins out a shamanistic ritual that repels evil, harmful spirits. This Korean contemporary dance artist opens a portal to the goblins of her mind and body. She confronts and eventually befriends the other me inside, as in old folk tales, where people met goblins and danced with them all night. She comes to understand herself – her mind and body – as a universe unto itself. Ultimately, she recognises the beauty and diversity coexisting within her, and within all of us.”
Lee Kyung-eun directs, choreographs and performs this fascinating piece. She searches for the real person inside the body and specifically the mind. The gremlins that take hold when we are just being us may be from the ego, outside influences or, as Lee Kyung-eun believes, the little annoying things that invade our head. If this is true, then Lee Kyung-eun explores a possible solution and is keen to share it in her dance.
From Korea, her award-winning company LEE K. Dance creates new work that combines both artistic values and popular appeal. Lee Kyung-eun has a strong presence and grounded quality to her contemporary dance – although she looks fragile in her black shorts and flesh coloured bandeau top. She traces her way around and across the stage with mysterious flitters of the fingers and flexible bending movement of her legs, arms and torso. Lee Kyung-eun dances to a soundscape comprising guitar, echoes, water and metallic sounds. Breathing deeply and audibly she repeats certain motifs such as when she stretches her arms high to her side and bends towards the floor.
She vocalizes with sounds with some individual spoken words, and is on a mission to rid herself of these gremlins or to simply accept them – with the message to be happy with whosoever we are. Sometimes this is difficult to achieve and the gremlins may be tenacious. Her precision of movement and foot placement is secure and fluid as she moves and raises arms continuing the movement to the end of the fingertips followed by unusual directional side moving steps.
This is an interesting and thoughtful piece with flowing dynamics. Some dance motifs look like they are inspired by yogic moves while other movement is specific and idiosyncratic. Her physical control and extensions are impressive! She does a stunning standing split at a twisting angle. Her movement is pure, noble and sensitive with an individual dance vocabulary plus very good dance quality, intent and execution.
A dramatic light change (Lighting design by Kang Young Ku) signals a new chapter in her abstract story. Then a beautiful large image of mountainous landscape with white flowing air is projected on the back wall.
The storytelling builds to a dramatic arc – Lee Kyung-eun’s work is sincere, textured, sensitive and inspired. This is an opportunity to see a wonderful artist from Korea perform with very special dance quality. Go see!