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Seoul, South-Korea: Hopefully we will be able to be together and dance together soon.

South-Korea was struck hard by the Covid-19 virus. From her home, Sout-Korean choreographer Eun-Me Ahn reports. She was supposed to visit Oslo in May with ther performance North-Korea Dance.

Copyright Lee Jinwon 1 2

Where are you now, and what is your status quo?
I am in Seoul and have been quarantined at home after coming back from Europe. There are just a couple of days left to complete the period recommended by Korean authorities. I was tested negative, but no one can be sure of anything in times like these, so it is better to stay home. Of course, I am deeply shocked because of the ongoing tragedies around the world. My energy is a bit down physically and mentally, but I can’t complain. There are people in lot worse situation. I am a very active person and yet, I am confined within walls. We all are. It is strange to know half the world population is in the same situation and is acting in a uniform pattern regardless of cultural or historical background.

If you are in quarantine, what routines have you made for yourself?
When I am in Seoul, I have a crazy rhythm and a very busy life. This forced pause is a good opportunity to take a step down and focus on myself a bit more. There were things for which I had little time that I can do now : I’ve been cooking a lot lately and my apartment has never been so clean! And of course, it is not because I’m home that I stopped working. We had a big tour planned with my company but we had to cancel most of it. At first, there was a lot of frustration because as an artist, my job is all about sharing with people. That is what drives me and what I’m planning on continuing to do, so most of my time in quarantine is dedicated to preparing the future : developing new ideas, new projects, future tours and doing some research for my next production that is to premiere in September.

Hopefully we will be able to be together and dance together soon.

Copyright Lee Jinwon 1 1

What do you read?
I’m reading a lot about Asian dance as part of the reasearch of my new piece, but I’m mostly reading news. To keep up to date and know what’s going on around the world, but also to get some insights about what is going to come next. We are facing an unprecedented crisis that is highligting the disfunctionments of our modern societies but also shows the good things in it. Things will not be the same after the pandemic and we will need to build on the positive to imagine a better world.

What are you watching?
I don’t feel much like watching fictions at the moment. Real life is dramatic enough. I’ve been watching many documentaries. The latest was « Evolution of Hip Hop ».

What are you listening to?
Voices of people. I’m actually constantly on the phone.

I usually kind of hate phone calls because I can’t feel the presence of the person I’m talking to and how the body reacts, so I can’t fully communicate as I would normally do. I miss real human contact, but it is better than nothing.

How do you move?
I am definitely moving slower and less. I do some basic exercises to maintain my condition, but I can’t really practice or rehearse at home. My dance is all about interaction rather than directed engagement. I don’t interact much with my home space that way. I am a bit scared the current situation might change this.

What inspires you?
People. My dancers, my friends, my family, the people around me. They are what is sustaining and inspire me to create. But I’m also inspired by all the people who are fighting against the virus with unselfishness, especially in hospitals. The dedication and amazing job they’ve been doing to keep us safe should be a source of inspiration for everyone.

If you could send a message that would reach everyone, worldwide what would it be?
I’m not sure I’m famous enough to reach everyone worldwide, but since you are giving me the opporutnity, I would say we are all survivors in a terrible war. But unlike any other war, for the first time in History, we are all on the same side. We need to stay united, think about others and continue our efforts to defeat the virus.

Let’s win this together.

Stay home.

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