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By Leah Lynch
April 17, 2018

Iron Eyes

An experimental dance performance exploring the vastly complicated conflict between North and South Korea.
By Leah Lynch
April 17, 2018

It's hard to get more topical than an exploration of the conflict between North and South Korea. We hear so much about these countries, yet still we know so little of them. With this paradox in mind, and approaching their topic through an insider's eye, Korean-New Zealand dance company Jang Huddle look set to tell a North/South Korean story that rarely gets heard. Rather than the dry or overly dramatised accounts we receive of these places on the news, their debut contemporary dance piece Iron Eyes proposes a visceral and embodied experience of its overdetermined subject matter. A clever engagement with the ways in which a change in perspective is a necessarily physical experience, even if you don't leave the spot.

Choreographer Cindy Jang also stresses that Iron Eyes is a personal story — her grandmother fled North Korea as a teenager. As we know, though, the personal is always political, and Iron Eyes looks to comment on power and control more broadly. Think George Orwell's 1984 but less Eurocentric. Or a Handmaid's Tale, but one where the focus is less on talking, more on doing — a corporeal enquiry into the limits placed on a body's motility under the modern State. History as bodies in motion rather than words going stale on the page? It's a concept we could do with keeping in mind more often.

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