Pros: An interesting performer clearly absorbed in her work.
Cons: Theatrically underwhelming space and staging.
Lee Kyung-Eun is an award winning Korean dancer and choreographer who established her own company in 2002. In this thirty minute solo she examines the goblins of her body and mind. She began crouched low, and emitted a deep and punchy “ha!” as if locating herself and her body through sound. As though in dialogue with her physical self, she fixed and manipulated her limbs in space. At other times she became the goblin, hopping impishly from foot to foot.
Inspired by Korean shamanic rituals of exorcism, Kyung-Eun embodied both the shaman and the person possessed. Reaching into space, she seemed to be searching, calling. Then trembling fingers would ripple down her legs like whispering spirits. The most compelling section began when she took some liquid into her mouth and gargled it in her throat, creating a physical and aural texture. Tracing circles around the space, one arm aloft, she gathered power. Finally the demon was exorcized, emerging as a stark black stain.
Kyung-Eun has said that the power of the body is central to her work, and she has a powerful presence. An austere costume of plain shorts and bandaged breasts displayed her musculature. Combined with her very short hair her androgyny makes a purposeful statement against typical images of Korean women.
This piece is part of the Korean showcase at Edinburgh this year and is on at Dance Base, a vibrant modern venue housing several studios. The space in which Mind-Goblin was performed was a plain studio, without tiered seating. Possibly too big a space for the work, it had a flat and functional atmosphere which didn’t hold the quiet, meditative atmosphere of the work.
Choreography and Performance: Lee Kyung-Eun
Sound Design: Sert Jimmy
Lighting Design: Gang Young Ku
Dramaturgy: Ahn Kyungmo
Costume: Lee Kyung-Eun
Producers: SIDance and Les Rencontres chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis
Booking Until: 27 August 2017
Box Office: 0131 226 0000
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/mind-goblin