Grec 2018: Dancing grandmothers

Dance
3 out of 5 stars
Dancing grandmothers
Dancing grandmothers

The first minutes of 'Dancing Grandmothers' are pretty much what we expect from this year's Grec festival an Asian influence – a dance company that mixes the best of two traditions: contemporary urban and free expression with the virtuosity and acrobatics of the best traditions of the Far East. There's also plenty of imagination and surprise in the dazzling costumes of a thousand colours and textures that seem to have come out of an Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada workshop in the most traditional heart of Seoul.

After the prologue, choreographer Eun-Me Ahn's show – one of Korean dance's big hits in Europe – reveals her intention to stage a group of grandmothers who interact with young professional dancers. First she presents us with a video that highlights different women in rural areas of Korea dancing before the camera. The conclusion is drawn that dance is happiness.

From that moment on, other older women with no previous knowledge of dance make an appearance on the stage, while at the same time the younger dancers multiply. The work with non-professional performers holds no interest beyond the curious anecdote, and sometimes feels embarrassing. It doesn't even really highlight the opposition between traditional and modern. In short, this is a lovely and tender show, which is good enough.


Choreography and artistic direction: Eun-Me Ahn. Performers: Eun-Me Ahn, Donghun Go, Jihye Ha, Youngmin Jung, Hyekyoung Kim, Jeeyeun Kim, Seunghae Kim, Eisul Lee, Hyunwoo Nam, Sihan Park and ten elderly Korean women.

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