BWW REVIEW: K-Arts Dance Company Brings Song of the Mermaid to NYC
The opening night of South Korea's K-Arts Dance Company, artistic director and choreographer, Sunhee Kim, was
on October 20, 2018. They performed Song of the Mermaid at New York City Center, with guest artist Kimin Kim, born in Seoul, Korea, currently a principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet.
Scenic design, by Kyuchul Ahn were extravagant and an integral part of the production. The show opened with projections on a scrim. When the numerous dancers entered, as schools of fish, they appeared to be under the sea, very well-done. When the scrim lifted, the projections were on the screen at the back of the stage, also impressive. Costumes, by costume designer Bohwa Song, were colorful and many were recognizable as crabs, an octopus, shrimps, starfish, a turtle, and more. It was an ambitious enterprise which held the attention of the audience.
When each type of sea creature performed center stage, with others sitting around the sides of the stage, it had the look of an extravagant recital. Some of the choreography was clever and some was banal. The crabs were my favorite, costumes and choreography making them almost realistic. There were two small crabs; one of them, Hyeonwoo Park, a brilliant young dancer with acrobatic skills. The Sea Turtle, Eunsoo Lee was very expressive. A number of the dancers were also expressive, their best trait. I prefer the expression of dance than to see dancers striving to improve technique while performing, like trying to get their legs higher than is natural at the moment (their least impressive trait).
Kimin Kim was the big draw. His movement was smooth, elegant, and confident. No doubt, many of the professional dancers in the audience were there to see him. He elevated the level of the group and was a good partner for the Mermaid, Seonmee Park. Park is long and lean, a believable mermaid.
The large dance company was here for two performances only, October 20 and 21. The company, operated and supported entirely by the Korean government, seeks to promote its unique culture and style of dance.
Photo courtesy of K-Arts Ballet