A multi-media, trans-cultural dance
performance exploring the lives of the Kisaeng,
courtesans from Korea's Joseon Dynasty, and
their strikingly contemporary struggles
Contemporary yet traditional, Asian but universal, Dean Moss and Kim Yoon-jin present Kisaeng Becomes You, a visually engaging, trans-cultural performance work combining Korean New Wave with the "downtown" New York experimental scene. This exciting multimedia production explores the surprisingly contemporary struggles of the Kisaeng, artists/courtesans of Korea's Joseon Dynasty (1400-1900), as revealed in their poems. Hundreds of years before Japanese Geishas, these female dancers and entertainers were carefully trained and highly accomplished in the fine arts, dance, poetry and even medicine. Appreciated only for their beauty and talent, they were disposable people: isolated and marginalised due to the nature of their work and caste. This aesthetically complex performance projects intriguing social parallels, and highlights our timeless need for connection.
With a uniquely designed and interactive set, Kisaeng Becomes You offers an ambitious visual narrative that asks audience members to echo the lives of the Kisaeng on stage with the performers. A deeply moving, cutting-edge production, the new work is set to become a thought-provoking addition to the world of contemporary dance.
Kisaeng Becomes You is co-commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop and The Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance).
Kisaeng Becomes You was commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop and received production support from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. It is honoured to be the first project to benefit from the new institutional partnership between DTW and MANCC. The project is also supported by a Multi-Arts Production Fund grant (supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation) and an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship. Kisaeng Becomes You received residency and development support from Kookmin University, and is generously sponsored by the Korea Foundation, Arts Council Korea and the Korean Cultural Service NY.