Strictly not Gangnam style

Given the inordinate and virtually inexplicable amount of time devoted to the global phenomenon that is Gangnam style, you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the now ubiquitous dance moves made legendary by Psy are representative of Korean dance. Thankfully this is not the case: Korea is a happening country, as the Korean mini dance festival KORE A MOVES will demonstrate over three days of contemporary dance from 14-16 February at Dansehallerne in the burgeoning artistic corner of Carlsberg. 

Sungsoo Ahn, a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York, founded the dance company Sungsoo Ahn Pick-up Group in 1991. Originally the group consisted of dancers from New York, but since 1998, Sungsoo Ahn has based the troupe in Korea.  The group skillfully blends techniques from ballet and hip-hop. This is reflected in its unique make-up: an eclectic mixture of dance talent springing from traditional dance/ballet and backing dancers for Korean pop stars.  Ahn compares this diversity with a composer combining different instruments to create a beautiful soundtrack. The element of ballet is a core feature of Ahn’s choreography. He believes that ballet has a yin-yang that promotes a balance between body and mind, allowing dancers to move intuitively.

The troupe will be performing Rose: The rite of spring to the music of Igor Stravinsky. In this dance piece, gender roles are challenged as a group of women engage in a circular dance to find ‘a chosen one’ − the ideal man to be sacrificed as part of the ritual worship of the earth.  For this piece, the company has been supplemented with hip-hop dancers to represent the power and energy of masculinity.

The Ahn Soo Young Dance Project has been touring internationally since 2007. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is reconstructed by Ahn from its classic ballet roots into a vibrant universe of hip-hop and contemporary dance. The graceful swans become homeless ones, grooving through a dreary urban landscape. These two performances start at 20:00 on Thursday and Friday.  The Thursday show will be followed by a chance to discuss the performance with the artists. The Friday shows will be preceded by a talk at 17:00, looking at contemporary dance trends in Korea, and the country itself. 

On Saturday, the doors open to a Young Choreographers Night with three performances in one programme. Founded in 2007, the Goblin Party want to bewitch, play tricks and bedazzle – all members of the troupe have the chance to work as both a choreographer and dancer so, in that way, the company has no definite leader. 

The piece I GO is the brainchild of Jin-Ho Lin, who got the idea while working as a funeral coach to explore the dilemmas and mysteries of death.  

EDX2, led by choreographer Lee In-Soo,  presents WHAT WE’VE LOST, which looks at the themes of fantasy and reality of memories through a blend  of hip-hop and modern dance to create a diverse mosaic of body movement.  

Suksoon Jung’s Project S presents the short piece FOR WHOM 2.0, which revolves around directions and the illusions of moving forwards.  

This three-day sample of what Korean choreographers and dancers have to offer in the way of contemporary dance is yet another inspiring addition to the Dansehallerne programme.  


Dansehallerne,  Pasteursvej 20, Cph V;  starts tonight (Thu Feb 14), ends Sat, performances at 20:00; tickets: adults 130kr, children 60kr,;