Dance What Words Cannot Describe
Kim Sung-yong (Dance, ’00)
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One of the two modern dance companies in Korea, Daegu Contemporary Dance Company, is greeting its seventh art director Kim Sung-yong (Dance, '00). News H interviewed Kim at a café near Suseo station on Saturday, June 2nd.
Kim started his career in an arts high school, through a teacher’s recommendation from middle school. As a young performer, Kim dreamed of one day being the director of Daegu Contemporary Dance Company. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Kim, reminiscing the moment he got the final offer from the company.
He was as excellent a dancer as he is as a choreographer. With "Chaconne in G Minor" by Tomaso Antonio Vitali, Kim won 1st prize at the Dong-A Dance Competition at the age of 20. Winning in 1997, he is still the youngest winner in the history of the competition. After graduation, Kim became a semi-finalist in the third Japan International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition. That led to endless job offers from Japan, and later from Europe and North America.
When asked what the hardest part of such a long and ongoing career of dancing was, Kim replied "personal relations." He explained, “Dancing itself was never too hard or exhausting. I never thought of quitting dancing in my life,” smiled Kim. The foremost value of dancing for Kim is to express what words cannot. He described dancing as metaphoric and intangible but stronger than physical objects or words.
Through such visual expression, Kim wishes people, including the audience, dancers, and himself to discover feelings that they did not know existed before. That was the idea at the core of the more than 130 routines he coreographed. For instance, in his most recent and the first piece as the director of Daegu Contemporary Dance Company, Goon-joong (The Crowd), he tried to convey his contemplation on the idea of violence. Why are some people violent? Are all offenders simply offenders, or are they also victims? In the end, he came to the conclusion that the bystanders doing nothing about the violence are the worst people.
Kim’s term ends in two years, and it seems like his schedule is fully booked for the coming years. He and his team have various festivals and performances to participate in both in Korea and abroad. Despite the busy schedule and the hectic life he is leading, Kim’s eyes shined with passion and interest throughout the interview.
Kim So-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
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