The 22nd Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance2019)

The 22nd Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance2019) hosted by Seoul section of CID-UNESCO will be held 2nd October (Wed) -20th October (Sun) for 19 days at CJ Towol Theater Seoul Art Center (SAC), Mary Hall Sogang University, CKL Stage, Korea Cultural House (KOUS) and Culture Tank. At this year’s SIDance, the audience will be able to meet 47 performances from groups/individuals from 19 countries from Europe, Africa, Americas and Asia such as Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Spain, UK, Sweden, Norway, Japan, and Korea.

Last year, the 21st SIDance’s ‘Refugee Focus’ which was the first edition dealing with the political and social issues, was well-received for its direction in a timely global affair. Followed by this, this year’s SIDance seeks once again to ask questions regarding social issues under the theme of ‘Violence.’ Violence meaning not only physical violence but looking at various types and aspects of violence with keywords such as sexuality, gender, stereotypes, ideology, racism, relationships, and black and white thinking. Furthermore, we have newly programmed a Korean traditional dance platform in order to encourage globalization of Korean traditional dance among our programs spanning domestic and international performances introducing various international artists and groups such as Compagnie Marie Chouinard.

Focus Violence – “We live in a World of Violence”

In discussing the direction of this year’s festival with ‘Focus Violence,’ the artistic director of SIDance LEE Jong-Ho states that ‘the contemporary people are exposed to various violence from personal violence to political violence.’ Genocide, terrorism, sexism and human trafficking and on top of that from hierarchical violence, bullying to violence within relationships. It has been so long since violence has penetrated our daily lives, it’s even difficult to decipher the form and scale of violence. The problem is that violence in our society has been institutionalized. Social structure is maintained with this violence and in a capitalist society when such mechanism lies in place one cannot avoid the large beasts as a minority. Such institutional violence is much more violent than the violence of any social ideologies prior to capitalism.

With the #Metoo movement, started by those in a lesser position of power calling out unjust behavior and sexual violence of those in power, spreading as a social issue, the discussion around the core essence of violence that shake our structures and destabilize our society began. And at this time, the 22nd SIDance seeks to unmask all that attempts to bury and disguise violence and discuss everything from the mythological form of violence to ideology, sexuality, racism, stereotype and black and white thinking through works of 10 performance teams.

A Complete Dance Report on Violence Written by Ultima Vez <TrapTown>,

a Total of 10 Performances that reveal the Essence of Violence.

The opening performance to swing open the doors to Focus Violence is <TrapTown>, a recent work by the leading player of Belgium’s Flemish Wave, Ultima Vez by Wim Vandekeybus which premiered in 2018. Following from multiple performance visits in Korea from 2003 to 2016 at LG Art Center, Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF) and MODAFE, Ultima Vez meets the Korean audience once again for the sixth time. Not only known as a choreographer but also as video/film artist and photographer, Wim Vandekeybus is known as the ‘rebel of contemporary dance’ and ‘lead figure of Flemish Wave.’

With much works having been created taking motifs from ancient mythologies, through <TrapTown> Wim Vandekeybus shows dystopia where human conflicts and unfathomable disasters that have been ruling from distant times. Offering new provocations each and every time, there’s much anticipation as to what Ultima Vez will offer us anew through its complete dance report on violence <TrapTown>.

Furthermore, as part of Focus Violence, the ‘intellectual choreographer’ garnering much attention in the European dance scene ▲Mette Ingvartsen <69 positions>, taking on the subject of forced ‘beauty’ within the virtual environment of the internet ▲Naela Hustak Kornetová <Forced Beauty>, painfully calling out careless use of the word ‘nigger’ ▲Solo Magic < Black Like Me: Exploration of the word Nigger>, with a month run at 2016 Adelaid Fringe Festival and a winner of ‘Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award’ ▲Svalbard Company <All Genius All Idiot>, exploring relationships within violence based on the theory of anthropologist Gregory Bateson ▲Tony Tran & Antero Hein <SCHISMOGENESIS>, telling the stories of contemporary lives of those whose aims solely lie on struggle for happiness, ▲Lee Jung In Creation x Black Box Dance Company <Addiction> , ▲Art Project BORA<MUAK>, KEDAGORO <Sky>, Anne-Mareike Hess <Warrior>.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard, adored by ‘CINARS’ the Cannes Festival of the Performing Arts comes to Korea first time in 13 years! Terpsichore of Canada Marie Chouinard meets poet of Hallucinations Henri Michaux.

An international performance worthy of much attention is the choreographer Marie Chouinard, who with her raw energy and wild eroticism and known as Terpsichore (goddess of dance) of Canada. Marie Chouinard is an important figure in contemporary dance to be mentioned in the French dictionary Larousse. She earned her recognition through ‘CINARS,’ a biennale known as the ‘Cannes Festival of the Performing Arts.’(CINARS is a biennale for performing arts that takes place in Montreal every two years which began to receive much attention with its focused programming of Robert Lepage and Cirque du Soleil.) This is the first time in 13 years since Marie Chouinard has been introduced by LG Art Center in 2006. This year SIDance will present <HENRI MICHAUX : MOUVEMENTS>, where the ‘poet of hallucinations’ Henri Michaux meets the piece <Les 24 Préludes de Chopin> which shows beautiful movements to the music of Chopin.

Other international performances include <Italy Focus> introducing Italian contemporary dance that has been difficult to access in Korea, <Who’s Next> that is a platform for invited international artists of emerging and established contemporary dance choreographers along with the newly formed <Korean Dance – Traditional Dance Market> and Korea-Denmark Collaboration Programs.

Alongside the performances, at SIDance there are various choreography workshops available for professional dancers and performers as well as movement workshops open to all. There are varied additional programs such as artist talks and more available. This year, with <Focus Violence> we are planning seminars on looking at prevalent violence in our times from the perspective of the arts as part of our additional programs.

Tickets for the 22nd SIDance can be purchased through the SIDance official website (, Interpark ( and limited to shows taking place at Sogang University Mary Hall tickets are also available for purchase at ( Ticketing prices differ for each performance. Besides the Unlimited Pass and Free Pass 3,5,8 Package that has been available each year, please take note of the special package created for this year’s Focus Violence the ‘Focus Violence Package.’ When booking 8 performances from the Focus Violence program (from a total of 10 Focus Violence performances) the tickets can be purchased at a 55% discounted rate. From this year for all those purchasing Unlimited Pass, Free Pass 3, 5, 8 Package and Focus Violence Package will be given an EVENT CARD.

For more details please see SIDance official website ( or call SIDance Office (02-3216-1185.)