Eun-Me Ahn’s Dragons brings the traditional dance of South East Asia to The Lowry – and what a celebration it is.
Ahn describes the meaning behind the title of the show as having many different interpretations.
Eun-Me Ahn’s Dragons
In Dragons, avantgarde South Korean choreographer Eun-Me Ahn brings together modern and traditional dance styles from across Asia, embracing the vitality of hyper-connected ‘Gen-Z’ to adapt to our rapidly changing world.
In her latest kaleidoscopic production, she introduces five young guest performers from Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan.
All born in the year 2000, they appear as holograms, sharing their hopes and fresh perspectives on how past and future can coexist.
They interact on the stage with Eun-Me Ahn and her company of seven South Korean performers in a joyful riot of dance, music and non-stop movement.
Vivid and colourful projections bring forests and clouded skies to life, while an evocative soundtrack seamlessly blends contemporary pop and electronic music with a traditional score.
So, What About Dragons?
A dragon can do many things.
It can fly, swim, dance, the list is endless. The use of industrial foil pipes throughout the show mimics the movement of a dragon perfectly as Ahn mentions.
She also mentions how they made the dance company and talks us through how they became a group during the pandemic.
They held auditions over Zoom for each country and then went from there.
Incredible Young Talent
The dance company is made up of young talent who want to take their dance to the world stage.
There are different sections of the performance despite it being one long 75-minute performance.
Ahn says that each section was inspired by their journey to the end of production.
They introduced themselves to the audience in the same way they would introduce themselves over a Zoom meeting.
It did not detract from the performance but gave a personal touch to their routine and made you feel like a part of the show.
The Use Of Holograms
The use of holograms was a surprising element and was really creative way of adding to the dances and giving them an otherworldly ethereal effect.
The music was phenomenal. It brought traditional and experimental music together in a magical concoction that mesmerises the ears and the senses.
There were elements of traditional, synth-wave, rave and orchestral blended across each section.
Added with the use of lights and reflections of the silver set the experience becomes that much more immersive.
Young-Gyu Jang is the mastermind behind this incredible piece of music that does not stray nor feel chopped during the performance.
The movements are fluid and yet controlled as the dancers have complete mastery over their bodies.
Each dancer got a moment where they shone both literally and figuratively as well as shining together as a team.
Not only did they use their bodies to create a work of art but also the hologram that was on a screen in front of them.
There were different images and they moved as one to create a story throughout the performance.
The hologram didn’t deter from the performance rather, in fact, it added to it as it didn’t feel chopped or out of place.
Eun-Me Ahn is one of the most important artists in South Korea.
Founded in 1988, her contemporary dance company has performed at 11 major international festivals, including the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
As a choreographer, she regularly subverts traditional attitudes to age and gender roles with her acclaimed intergenerational works, often working with non-professionals (including a trilogy of dancing grandmothers, middle-aged men and teenagers).
Dragons sees the ‘Enfant Terrible’ of Korean dance connecting with Asia’s next generation of talent.
Eun-Me Ahn’s Dragons is a beautifully crafted piece of work that showcases the best and greatest of South East Asia and it isn’t to be missed.
Showings are on from Tue 26 September – Wed 27 September
You can get your tickets to this incredible production by clicking here.