Festival Arts and Disability: Beautiful Differences

ARKO Arts Theatre, I-eum Center, Seoul, Korea (Republic of)

Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 06:30 to Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 23:30
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In March, the year-long UK/Korea 2017-18 Creative Futures ends with Festival of Arts and Disability: Beautiful Differences. The festival explores the role of arts for more inclusive and diverse society and focuses innovative approaches on arts and disability. 

There will be four programme including world premieres of 1) Co-production by Candoco Dance Company and Eun-Me Ahn 2) Co-production by Marc Brew and Bora Kim3) a photo exhibition 11 Million Reasons to Dance, and lastly 4) Sync Korea, which is a leadership development programme for disabled artists and producers. It is also important to note that each performance have hired inclusive digital technology such as Relumino by Samsung and Audio Description service to secure accessibility for people with limited vision. 

Through four unique programmes, the festival will provide an open platform on where disabled artists and non-disabled artists from the two countries can meet to work with each other, discuss the challenges they face, and share their experiences and creations with audiences.  Audiences as well as practitioners will be able to participate in talks and workshops.

1. 'Good Morning Everybody' by Eun-Me Ahn and Candoco Dance Company

Good Morning Everybody is a new dance performance by Candoco Dance Company and Eun-Me Ahn. The collaboration between one of the UK’s best-known dance company and Korea’s representative choreographer and dancer marks the finale of UK/Korea 2017–18. To be presented in Seoul in March 2018, the performance is also part of the 2018 PyeongChang Cultural Olympiad. The 60-minute performance is created out of more than six weeks of collaborative workshop, which have taken place throughout seven months since the initial workshop in London in May 2017. 

Candoco Dance Company was founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE and Adam Benjamin, it quickly grew into the first of its kind in the UK: a professional dance company of disabled and non-disabled artists.Candoco’s work is driven by the understanding that diversity is exciting, and dance is richer when different bodies and perspectives are part of its creation.

Eun-Me Ahn is one of the most well-known and beloved contemporary dancers in the world. Ahn is known for her paradigm-shifting dance performances that reflect the reality of 21st century Korea and give voice to diverse groups across the generations. In particular, she creates her works with ordinary people who are marginalised in society. Ahn created Ahnsim Dance with visually impaired dancers and Daeshim Dance starring performers born with dwarfism. With her eccentric extroversion and provocative fashion she is not just an exception in her home country. She often works to create an extreme form of expression in her pieces, which convince - with their simplicity and strength - both audiences and critics.

2. '공·空·Zero: Restriction, Body and Time' by Marc Brew and Bora Kim

··ZeroRestriction, Body and Time is a collaboration between a British choreographer and dancer Marc Brew and his Korean counterpart Bora Kim. The two choreographers rehearsed the performance in September 2017 and February 2018 to complete the duet, which is to be premiered at the Arko Arts Theater in Seoul in March 2018. Both British and Korean staff are onboard the production team for 공·空·Zero: Restriction, Body and Time: British composer Angus MacRae and audio describer Emma Jane McHenry and Korean stage designer Kim Jong-seok and lighting designer Lee Seung-ho are working together as a team. In particular, the performance will provide audio description for visually impaired audience. 

  • Date and time: 18.00, Saturday 17 March  16.00, Sunday 18 March 2018 (followed by 30-min artist talk) 
  • VenueARKO Arts Theatre, Small Hall 
  • Hosted and Organised by: British Council Korea 
  • Sponsored by: Creative Scotland, SK E&S, GREAT Campaign, Arts Council Korea
  • Admission: 10,000 KRW 
  • Duration: 60 mins

Artistic Director and choreographer Marc Brew has been working in the UK and internationally for the past 18 years as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and speaker. He was a guest performer, collaborator and media spokesperson for the London Hand Over Ceremony for the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony. Since 2001 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and was featured by Time Out Magazine as the best of the new breed of London's Rising Dance Talent. Influenced by his experience as a dancer using a wheelchair and his professional career as a classical ballet dance and contemporary dancer with and without a disability, Marc searches in his choreography for how restrictions can create new and interesting movement possibilities.

Bora Kim is a choreographer and dancer, who was selected as one of 2017 Dance Critics’ Choice of Choreographers by the Korean Association of Dance Critics. Bora focuses on creating contemporary dance pieces that pull down the existing concepts of genres and space. She is also Artistic Director of Art Project BORA, a contemporary dance company to produce creative and clever choreography and performance that reflect our time through diverse perspectives. Bora is also actively presenting her performances internationally in a number of countries in different continents.

3. 11 Million Reasons to Dance

11 Million Reasons to Dance was conceptualised by People Dancing in 2014 to positively profile Deaf and disabled people in dance activity in the UK. The project developed from a core vision to de-segregate Deaf and disabled people, and to help facilitate a change in perceptions that can surround those who participate in dance. 

With funding from Unlimited Impact, People Dancing commissioned emerging photographer, Sean Goldthorpe to create 20 high quality images inspired by iconic dance moments in film. These stunning, powerful, emotive, and humorous images - many with a subtle but relevant message - in which Deaf and disabled people are centre stage, re-imagining iconic roles from well-known and loved films from a diversity of genres, act as a resource and inspiration to hearing impairment and disabled people who dance already, and those who would like to dance in the future.

The project took place in over 12 indoor and outdoor locations and 21 separate shoots, with over 160 people involved. The work took three months in total to complete. As part of Festival Arts and Disability: Beautiful Differences, the exhibition is presented at I-eum Arts Gallery from 9 to 23 March 2018. 

  • Date: 9–23 March 2018
  • Venue: I-eum Arts Gallery 
  • Hosted and Organised by: British Council Korea 
  • Sponsored by: GREAT Campaign

4. Sync Korea

Sync was first developed by two disabled pioneers from the UK; Sarah Pickthall and Jo Verrent during the London 2012. Through intensive face to face programmes, it has supported many of the leading disabled artists and arts managers in the UK and Australia to progress their arts careers further than they thought possible.  For Sync Korea, it had tailored the programme to best suit the selected participants who had applied in January 2018. With two mentors, it aims to help Korea’s disabled artist and producers to forge a career and a fulfilling future as pioneers in the arts. 

  • Date: 17–21 March 2018
  • Venue: I-eum Center 
  • Hosted and Organised by: Korea Disability and Arts and Culture Center, British Council Korea 
Korea (Republic of)
ARKO Arts Theatre, I-eum Center, Daehakro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 11, 03086
Part of: 
20 February 2017 to 31 March 2018

UK/Korea 2017–18