Seoul to play host to Asia-Pacific int’l dance fest

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 12, 2016 - 15:36
  • Updated : Jul 12, 2016 - 18:04

For the first time in more than two decades, Seoul will be playing host to the upcoming World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific International Dance Festival & Conference from July 21 to 24.

The annual festival invites dance troupes from across the world to perform both traditional and contemporary pieces that highlight the Asia-Pacific dance culture and showcase them on stages all over the globe, including its recent runs in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. 

This year’s four-day festivities, under the theme of celebrating “Global and Local Integration through Dance,” will mark the first time the international dance festival is being held in Seoul since 1994. 

A scene from the Taiwanese dance performance “Wonderland,” which will be staged as part of the upcoming Asia-Pacific International Dance Festival & Conference from July 21-24. (PRM)

This year’s event will feature 300 dancers from 20 countries, hosting 50 symposiums and performing 36 showcases. The upcoming festival is being organized by the World Dance Alliance Korea, a nonprofit international dance organization dedicated to introducing Korean dance to the world and the world dance to Korea.

“One of our biggest goals is to provide a global service for dance as an art form,” says WDA Korea CEO Jeon Hong-jo, during a press conference held in central Seoul on Tuesday.

“Not only are we trying to expose the world to Korean dance and our dancing culture, but with Seoul hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific International Dance Festival, we are also exposing Koreans to all the different styles of dance from around the world,” Jeon added.

The upcoming festival will include lectures and master classes taught by internationally renowned dance figures from Australia, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, the U.S., France and more. The final day of the event will also feature a special joint symposium by Emma Gladstone and Andree Grau.

Gladstone is the artistic director & chief executive of Dance Umbrella, London’s international dance festival. As a dancer for more than two decades, she has worked with Arlene Phillips before co-founding Adventures in Motion Pictures with famed U.K. choreographer Matthew Bourne. 

The official poster for this year’s Asia-Pacific International Dance Festival & Conference in Korea. (WDAK)

Grau is a professor at Roehampton Dance in London who is known for her research interests in the relationships between anthropology and dance.

“What makes our festival different from other festivals is our partnership with UNESCO and our effort to unite different cultures of the world through dance,” said Jeon. “We don’t just try to do this through dance performances, but also through our symposiums and other various programs to try to reach and educate people.”

“It is my hope that one day, K-dance will be able to reach the level of K-pop and inspire our young people today,” she concluded.

The Asia-Pacific International Dance Festival will be held at the Seoul Cyber University’s Seoul Dance Center. VIP tickets are listed at 30,000 won while general admission tickets are 20,000 won. For more information, visit www.wdakorea.co.kr.

By Julie Jackson(juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)