I went to the The 11th Anseong Juksan International Arts Festival. It was quite a weekend. I'm still digesting it all.
The Laughing Stone Arts Village reminded me of Jacob's Pillow, Buck's Rock, and the summers I went to see amazing contemporary dance in the woods. The dance performances in Juksan weren't the most spectacular that I've ever seen, but there was a great collection of people in attendance that made it all worthwhile.
All of the performances were staged outdoors with the mountains and trees as a backdrop. I loved how they were like site-specific dance installations. One of the first pieces was set on a series of steps and eventually the dancers made their way into the audience. They jumped on the benches and danced around people, almost as if we weren't there.
In another piece, the audience was put at the bottom of a stone path. Two women ran down the path just beaming with joy holding hands. When they got to the bottom of the path they would hold hands and spin around in a circle, like you would as a kid to make yourself dizzy. Then they stopped looked intensely at one another and then screamed. One would then get behind the other and slowly push her up the hill again. This was repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I kept watching, looking for the slight differences, waiting for something to change. People got up and started leaving. Finally the piece ended. Turned out that it was part of the piece. The dancers would continue to repeat this short series of movements until a lot of people left. I guess it was a bit about endurance.
The best part of the weekend, by far, was the all night dance party. The dj could have been considered "bad to terrible," but I was so happy. Some drummers came out and joined the dj. There I was, barefoot on a mountain, in the middle of the night, with red clay squishing between my toes, amongst about a hundred modern dancers and really free people, just moving around and having fun dancing. Did I ever dance! I was sore the next day I danced so hard. I remembered how long it has been since I was "a dancer" and thought about taking some classes again.