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 Post subject: 29th June, 2005: Chang Mu Dance Company
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Performances 29.06

Chang Mu Dance Company
"Dark Side of The Moon",
"The Frozen River"
(Korea)


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 54
DANCE AND SPIRITUALITY

Interview with Dr Ewa Rynarzewska – a tutor in the Institut of Orientalist Science at Warsaw University, where she analyzes Korean literature. Being a friend of Chang Mu Dance Company she was taught traditional korean dance by dr Kim Maeje for four years.

Traditional korean dance – what is it like?

It focuses on spirituality, internal experiences. Technique isn’t the most important aspect – it’s necessary, but plays a minor role. Traditional dance concentrates on its own content rather than technique. Creating and evoking common views and emotions – that matters. Dancers use gestures which make their expression looking natural. They observe nature, where one can hardly find an ideal symmetry, so they create a new quality of movement by using irregular shapes and forms. And that is the beauty.

What role does breathing play in the dance?

Skillfully use of breathing is the basis of traditional Korean dance and it can lenghthen or shorten the movement. Energy coming from the abdomen circulates in the whole body, making gestures more expressive. Breathing depends on the individual’s predispositions and dancers also try also to free the collective energy, so after solos the group gathers and the energy of the dancers is combined.

What music is used for korean dances? Are there any general rules?Nothing is imposed – music can complete your dance, but you can distance yourself from it as well. For example, in Chang Mu Dance Company’s repertoire there is one dance without music. The most important aim is to show human existenc;. it’s strongly connected with philosophy.

Could you briefly describe those philosophic rules?

Korean philosophy has taken examples from China, for instance the yin and yang symbols. There are two basic elements: Heaven and Earth.plus the human who links them (visualy it resembles the “I” sign). Everyday, man tries to get closer to Heaven and its transcendence. The company’s repertoire includes a dance called Ctiunbon I in which a man feels a special contact with Earth. It evokes the Mother Earth archetype.

How do people learn Korean dance?

The master, who gives example to dance students, is the most important. The first step is to follow him and then, after reaching his level, to individualize the style. Individualism in South Korea is understood differently from Europe.

Are Koreans interested in dance? Is Chang Mu Dance Company alone in its innovatory aspirations?

There are a lot of dance groups in South Korea, but Chang Mu Dance Company is unique, because it harmoniously links traditional and modern elements. They manage to create a new quality of movement – creativity is their big plus. I know companies which incompetently link eastern and western cultures by using european music with korean dancing and vice versa – it’s an artificial synthesis. However, in South Korea, Chang Mu Dance Company is seen as antitraditional and accused of being too innovatory.

Where can we see these innovations?

For us, grown up in a different culture, the oriental elements are the most visible and may seem to belong to traditional korean dance. The two performences ("Dark Side of the Moon", "The Frozen River") which we saw, are quite modern among all the company’s dances. The innovation appears as a totally different atmosphere, emotions and the scenes evoked.

author: Anna Królica
translation: Magdalena Pietraś


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 54
TANIEC I DUCHOWOŚĆ

Wywiad z dr Ewą Rynarzewską - adiunkt w Instytucie Orientalistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego; zajmuje się literaturą koreańską; zaprzyjaźniona z zespołem Chang Mu Dance Company; przez cztery lata uczyła się tradycyjnego tańca koreańskiego u dr Kim Maeje .


Czym charakteryzuje się tradycyjny taniec koreański?

Taniec koreański jest nastawiony na duchowość, wewnętrzne przeżycie. Mniejsze znaczenie ma technika, jest niezbędną formą, ale drugorzędną. Tradycyjny taniec jest zwrócony ku swej istocie, a nie ku technice. Ważne jest tworzenie i przywoływanie wspólnych obrazów i emocji. Tancerz dąży do naturalnego wyrazu przez gesty; obserwuje naturę i tworzy nowe jakości ruchu. Pojawiają się kształty, formy nieregularne, gdyż w naturze trudno znaleźć idealną regularność i to tworzy piękno.

Jaka jest rola oddechu w tym tańcu ?

Umiejętne używanie oddechu w trakcie tańca leży u podstawy tradycjonalnego tańca koreańskiego. Oddech może wydłużyć lub skrócić ruch. Energia, która wydobywa się z okolic podbrzusza dostarcza energii, która krąży po całym organizmie, efektem są bardzo ekspresywne ruchy. Oddech jest uzależniony od indywidualnych predyspozycji tancerza. W tańcu chodzi również o wytworzenie energii wspólnej, dlatego po indywidualnych etiudach następuje skupienie zespołu i połączeniu energii jego członków.

Jaką muzykę wykorzystuje się w tańcu koreańskim i czy są jakieś określone kanony?

Nie ma niczego narzuconego, muzyka może być dopełnieniem, ale można z niej również zrezygnować. W repertuarze Chang Mu Dance Company jest np. jeden taniec pozbawiony podkładu muzycznego. Najważniejszym celem jest przedstawienie ludzkiej egzystencji. Jest to ściśle związane z filozofią.

Czy mogłaby Pani przybliżyć podstawy filozoficzne, z których czerpią tancerze?

Filozofia koreańska jest wzorowana na chińskiej, np. symbol yang i yin. Najważniejsze są dwa elementy: Niebo i Ziemia oraz człowiek, który je łączy (graficznie przypomina to znak: I ). Na co dzień człowiek dąży do Nieba i związanej z nim transcendencji. W repertuarze zespołu jest taniec Ctiunbon I, gdzie człowiek czuje szczególny kontakt z Ziemią, przywołuje to archetyp Matki Ziemi.

W jaki sposób przebiega nauka tańca koreańskiego?

Najistotniejszy jest mistrz, który jest wzorem dla uczniów- tancerzy. W pierwszej fazie uczeń stara się naśladować się Mistrza, ale gdy dojdzie do jego poziomu, powinien dążyć do własnej indywidualizacji. Indywidualizm jest trochę inaczej rozumiany w Korei Południowej niż w Europie.

Jak wygląda obecnie zainteresowanie tańcem w Korei Południowej? Czy zespół Chang Mu Dance Company jest odosobniony w swoich nowatorskich dążeniach?

W Korei Południowej jest dużo zespołów tanecznych. Myślę, że Chang Mu Dance Company jest wyjątkowy, gdyż bardzo harmonijnie łączy elementy tradycyjne i współczesne. Udaje im się tworzyć nową jakość ruchu. Na pewno kreatywność jest dużym atutem tego zespołu. Znam zespoły, które w sposób nieumiejętny, dość nachalny chcą zespolić kulturę zachodnią i koreańską, stosują muzykę europejską z tańcem koreańskim lub na odwrót, jest to dość sztuczna synteza. Co ciekawe zespół ChangMu Dance Comany jest odbierany jako antytradycjonalistyczny w Korei Południowej, zarzuca się mu zbyt nowatorskie próby.

W czym można dostrzec te innowacje?

Dla nas, wychowanych w innej kulturze, od razu zauważalne są orientalne elementy, które mogą wydać się przynależeć do tradycyjnego koreańskiego tańca. Dwa przedstawienia (Ciemna strona księżyca, Zamarznięta rzeka), które widzieliśmy, były stosunkowo nowoczesne na tle całego repertuaru zespołu. Wyraża się to w zupełnie innej atmosferze, emocjach i przywoływanych obrazach.


rozmawiała – Anna Królica


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Festival Diary, Day 3 - Adrienne Katz, Movement Therapy Specialist

Am I really a “movement therapy specialist”? I’ve had no formal training and the best book I’ve read on this area only came my way four days ago. But after dancing all my life, I’ve spent the last two years gaining knowledge of movement therapy from first-hand experience as a volunteer and I’ll soon be appointed to a full-time post with my current organisation. I leave it to you to decide.

My Bytom day starts with a quick breakfast coffee in the hotel bar and I enjoy my “kava biawa” to bastardise the Polish language. Most of the festival faculty are staying at the same hotel. So, as I have done for the past three mornings, I listen to the other dancers, choreographers and writers discussing politics and theory at 8am. Despite the fact I can make no preparation for my first class a short walk away, I am content to be with the group, though I often remain silent.

Then some of my class walk by and wave enthusiastically at me. I greet them with the few words of Polish I learned the day before. It get’s me thinking – quite a feat so early! My co-worker, Molly, and I are putting in the longest hours of anyone teaching here - five hours per day, but I wonder how many of them are greeted so enthusiastically at 8.30am. It’s a 30-second walk to the classroom and I realise that the students have come 30 minutes early.

Molly and I are part of the outreach group, teaching therapists, psychology majors and adults with disabilities. The group homes we work in and the system here for adults with disabilities is quite different from what I am used to, but the students’ enthusiasm makes me realise that we lucked out. Despite a lack of details before we came and the feeling that we’re flying by the seat of our pants, we get to work with people devoting themselves selflessly to our workshop. They will not acquire a better turnout, lose five pounds or be able to say that they took class from any big names to further their careers. But the professionals are participating because they hope to leave with a bigger, better bag of tricks to take elsewhere. They have inspired me to learn to say “Good morning” in Polish.

Each day we teach two, two-hour classes and then a 1-hour round-table discussion afterwards, where we share some snacks and talk about the day, disability, cultures and past experiences. The morning class is the hardest both logistically and emotionally. We work at a group home for adults with disabilities. The “home” feels more medical and institutional than the name suggests and keeps, and I really do mean keeps, about 150 residents. We buzz to be let in and we must find the gatekeeper to be let out. The corridors are dingy, grey and have a stale smell. Everyone, staff and residents alike, seem worn down from being there. Many of the resident participants greet us with kisses on the hand and catching their gaze provides a moment of beauty.

In addition, therapists and psychology students join us and I find it intimidating, but then remember that they are doing their best to guide and instruct the residents, just like us. It becomes a bit frustrating at times when six voices are giving instructions in Polish at the same time and I need a translator to first understand them and then to tell them to hush. As the class continues it is my hope that they will let go of their comfortable, professional roles for a while. On the whole, they are good-hearted people and I keep trying to remind myself of the cultural differences between our two disability traditions. It’s sometimes hard.

The afternoon class is easier – the same therapists and students from the morning, but a different group of adults with developmental disabilities. They are participants at an arts day centre – a much closer fit with our program in the States. Everyone is much livelier and our working space allows for greater creativity. The afternoon really energises me and I feel more liberated to teach what I know. Perhaps it is the larger space, my respect for the arts centre or the fact it’s no longer 9am.

The afternoon class starts with 30-minute physical warm up, which has varied from yoga to African dance. We then move on to different theatre and dance games, from walking around the room and creating different environments, to weight sharing exercises, to improvisational games. The group reacts incredibly well to improvisation and their creativity often runs away with the rest of the day’s lesson plans. Our “performance”, scheduled for the end of the Conference, is the result of a project to which both classes have contributed. Our morning group has spent the past two weeks creating a communal story, which we trial on our afternoon class first. Participants act out all parts of the story, from scenery to characters to inanimate objects, with people also taking on the role of the soundtrack and sound effects. It’s incredible the initiative the participants show in solidifying the piece, always adding a couple extra touches and fully using the tools from the exercises we have practiced in class. A couple less directors would be nice, but I have to appreciate their dedication to the project and I would rather have too many people trying to use their ideas than none at all. It makes for legitimate group work. The class ends with an activity with no purpose or desired results, rather just to be with the group. Then we are on our merry way to sit in an arts facility across the street that works with adults with disabilities, to discuss whatever is on our minds.

My teaching day ends with preparation for the next day at a bar close to the theatre, which forms the hub for the other activities in the festival. A small, good-natured man serves us and we attempt to communicate with our limited shared language. It’s funny; we started the workshops terrified we would run out of material and afraid of failure. In practise, I find that I could stay a month and still have more to teach and I’ve learned to accept failed lesson plans. This is my first teaching workshop abroad and I have so much more to learn before I leave.


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