Contemporary Dance Showcase's Tidbits from East Asia

The perils of inter-office traffic and beyond-the runway fashion

A solo, Below the Surface, performed and choreographed by Yon-In Lee, founder of the Korean group UBIN Dance, defines a world less turbulent than that of the three group works. She begins provocatively, slowly walking away from the audience, angling her legs interestingly and then disappearing in a blaze of light that hits the audience in the eyes. Lee is a lovely dancer. She sways and unfurls her flexible limbs and expansive body like seaweed in a mild current, but I find my attention drifting because of the sameness of her rhythms and overall tempo.

Sun-Shier Dance Theatre from Taiwan.
Sandy Ou-Yang
Sun-Shier Dance Theatre from Taiwan.


Contemporary Dance Showcase
Phase 2: Japan + East Asia
Japan Society
January 11 through 12

From the moment Jiro Matsumoto’s lighting and sound design reveal Japanese choreographer Yun Myung Fee surrounded by darkness and the strains of oddly distorted flamenco music, you know this woman is extraordinary. In her solo Pevelada (showcase version), she wears a pale, frilly dress half unfastened at the top, and the light catches her leaning slightly backward, wilting, dropping a white powdery substance from her limp hands. Blackout. Lights. Here she is in another spot, the next blackout enveloping her as she rises from a deep second-position plié. We see her only in these brief, isolated respites from darkness, always in a different place, rarely captured beginning or ending anything,. She falls. She lunges deeply. She jolts her feet stiffly, rhythmically together and apart. She vaults up repeatedly, bending her knees as if jumping rope, but her arms hang by her sides. Who she is and what has menaced her are enigmas, but as a performer, she’s unforgettable.

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