BEREISHIT DANCE COMPANY

The Company

Founded in 2013 by choreographer Soon-ho Park, Bereishit is a Seoul-based dance company that approaches the Korean traditional culture from a contemporary view–keeping the fundamental value of things, as opposed to simply borrowing or transforming them. The work also explores the issues of identity and transformation and delves into multimedia, street dance, community dance work and real time interactive demonstration. It displays an amazing sensitivity towards space and rhythms and its performances are always delivered with kinesthetic clarity and power. Bereishit has toured internationally and most recently made its US debut at the Dance Salad Festival in Houston, TX.

“The street style in dress and movement disguises finely honed skill in balancing bodies at extraordinary angles and in extraordinary configurations. […] It proved a winning selection.

— Critical Dance

 


 

PRESS KIT

View PDF here

THE DIRECTOR

Soon-ho Park studied contemporary dance at Hansung University in Seoul, Korea, and actively worked as a professional dancer from 1992 to 2001. He then completed a choreography course at the Arnhem European Dance Development Center in The Netherlands where he developed his work, trying diverse experiments through his solo or trio pieces. He participated in many projects as a dancer in The Netherlands, Germany and other European countries and was selected as the New Choreographer by the German institution PACT Zollverein in 2003.

Soon-ho has done various works and projects with installation and media artists, and musicians, including a collaboration with Giga Hizume, who is the director of Sal Vanilla, a multimedia and live performance group in Japan. He has received major funding from Arts Council Korea, and awards including The Choreography Award of the Year by the Performing Arts and Film Review, The New Choreographer’s Award by the International Modern Dance Festival, and the Best Choreography Award both from the Korean Dance Researchers and Critics Association and the ChangMu Arts Center. His work opened the Festival Asia in Barcelona, Spain, in 2007. Since then, it has been presented at venues and festivals in many countries such as Poland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Uruguay, India, Switzerland, and Mexico, amongst others.

In 2008 he was invited to the Asia-Africa Dance Exchange program of SIDance (Seoul International Dance Festival) and participated in its international residency program as a Program Director in 2009 and 2010.

In 2011 in collaboration with Australian choreographer Rebecca Hilton and the Art Center Nabi, Seoul, Soon-ho conceived the ‘Hello Project’, which is the Australia-Korea live public dance and screen project. Using only gestures and dance moves, the project utilized Skype technology on a grand scale, and tracked the sharing, teaching, learning and interpreting of different movement gestures as they were exchanged live via large public screens located in Seoul and Melbourne.

Since 2004, Soon-ho has been working very actively not only as a choreographer but also as a teacher. He currently teaches contemporary dance techniques and choreography at five universities in Korea.

Soon-ho’s works convey the various images surrounding the relationship between nature and people. Focusing on the origin of movements, he is interested in the fact that every subject has two different ends in itself. Dutch critic Mark Ben referred to him as transmitting ‘astonishing stimulation’. Not using music as a tool in his dance works, he considers himself as the visual movement or bodily rhythm. He believes that the sound can touch the heart and be expressed as movement. Seizing the subtle bodily rhythm in the works, he will open up the eyes and ears of the audience members.

Judo

 


 

Bow

 


 

Balance and Imbalance

Repertory

Balance & Imbalance (2010) In this work, Soon-ho Park explores the sounds made by the body and the movements made by the sounds.

An experiment between East and West, a study of differing movement sensations. Whipped on by drums, two then four, and finally six dancers drive themselves on and on. A master of ceremonies bellows orders. People follow these orders – or not. We get the impression that these people are intimately rooted in their Far-Eastern cultural circles. To the unbroken rhythm of the drums they develop a clarity and power that go beyond national borders as their unabashed physical control – somewhere between breakdance, artistry and urban coolness – simultaneously illuminates and criticizes their traditions. Balance and Imbalance includes live music by an ensemble of Korean traditional drummers.

View the tech rider.

BOW (2014) Park’s tenacious interest in tradition and sports is now expanded into an investigation into their meditative dimensions. In his new work “Bow,” he focuses on why traditional archery is considered an art form, building his performance out of rigorous research and thinking on the meaning of shooting a bow. Two male dancers recreate the act of making and firing a bow, turning these actions into an austere confrontation with oneself, and at times developing into a waltz spiraling forward through repetition. This performance will showcase Park’s skilled choreography that crosses the boundaries of sports and dance, training and meditation, action and thought.

Read the NY Times review and watch the post-show talk of Bereishit’s debut performances at Jacob’s Pillow.

Judo (2014) In Judo, Soon-ho Park views sports as a way to control, mediate, traverse and indeed transcend the violent, churning urges within us. Using this idea, Judo deploys the symbolic meaning of sports as a counterpoint and frame of reference and presents through the medium of dance, the harmonious play between rhythm, movement and space. Judo is a developed version of an earlier work entitled Pattern and Variable, which was originally created for the Asia-Africa Dance Exchange Program of the Cultural Partnership Initiative co-produced by SIDance under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

View the tech rider.

Community Engagement and Residencies

Community Workshops
 For Soon-ho Park, the significance of dance is freedom. Dancing with the members of a community restores dance as the body of the ordinary working classes. Community dance workshops will enable participants to express their existential needs and their desire to live through their body.

Technique Classes
 Body movements contain texture, space, rhythms and other various elements. The Bereishit technique classes will allow participants to experiment a relationship with external elements through movement and feel an inner relationship between the chi and themselves, which is the fundamental principle of oriental martial arts such as aikido and tai chi.

Choreographic Workshops for Dance Majors These workshops focus on various elements of the choreography including the movement, space design and semantic of the action. These components change along with the relationship and have numerous meanings.

Choreographic Workshops for Dance Professionals These workshops focus on Soon-ho Park’s creation process. He considers his choreography as abstract as its role is to simplify and filter reality. Through observation and experience he is able to reveal the philosophic or core essence of the work.

TOUR DATES

  • Wed
    29
    Jun
    2016
    Sun
    03
    Jul
    2016

    Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

    Becket, MA

    BOW and Balance & Imbalance

  • Sun
    15
    Jan
    2017
    Mon
    23
    Jan
    2017

    George Mason University

    Fairfax, VA

    Residency

  • Mon
    27
    Feb
    2017
    Wed
    01
    Mar
    2017

    Northrop Auditorium

    Minneapolis, MN

    BOW and Balance & Imbalance

  • Thu
    02
    Mar
    2017
    Sat
    04
    Mar
    2017

    Pittsburgh Dance Council

    Pittsburgh, PA

    BOW and Balance & Imbalance

  • Mon
    06
    Mar
    2017
    Thu
    09
    Mar
    2017

    University of California San Diego

    San Diego, CA

    BOW and Balance & Imbalance

  • Fri
    10
    Mar
    2017
    Sat
    18
    Mar
    2017

    Rutgers University - Mason Gross School of the Arts

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Residency