Entering the space of Seongkyum Theatre, sounds of nature were present. Through the fog and dimmed light a sofa with a sitting human sculpture was visible in the back right corner – the sofa was standing in a diagonal, breaking the lines of the subtly presented stage - thus creating a special balance of space. The dancer was not moving – that he was carrying all the possibilities dance sustains in his inside, was easy to be felt. I could see small towers of wooden bricks coverd with black words standing on the stage – and even though I could not read them, it was clear that they were full of content and meaning. The light faded out and when it faded in again the dancer was gone.
What followed now was one hour of an equilibrated composition of a male trio (using a contemporary dance language) – composed like a ritual, set in the atmosphere of buddhist prayer (which it actually was – as I learnt later) structured in different parts with a well balanced and fine tuned dynamic of dance and soundscape. The three dancers acted in complete harmony without neglecting their individuality. Moments of unison were of rarely seen beauty: for it was unison in breath and spirit. Choreographer Yun Min-Suk created calm contrast when needed. Almost unperceptible the trio would break of in a duet and a solo. Two dancers would vanish from stage leaving one alone – coming back in silence.
The woods were neither pure decoration nor simple props – they became part of the landscape, full of life, wandering from one person to another, changing form and arrangement. The dancers used the wooden bricks in various ways, carefully pinched like bird nests under one armpit or chin or for supporting a walk when placed under feet and hands. Sometimes a piece of wood would precisely meet another, creating the sharp yet full sound of a buddhist temple atmosphere. At one moment the sofa started to leave gravity. It became part of a dancing landscape just as the wooden bricks – melting with the bodies of the three dancers (Kim Suk-Jung, Park Sang Yoon, Yu Yonghyun). Even in the end, when the sofa lay on the shoulders of one of the dancers, representing the burden of life: heavy but light at the same time, offering the possibility of change within.
Like a soft and strong stream of water the piece ended as it appeared: clearly resting in itself – with no need to beg the audience for attention. Attentiveness was guaranteed. I entered Neung Oem Gyoeng without doubt or resistance changing from the world of daily life to one of contemplation – and I left richer as when I came ...