In this quietly dazzling new work, Sin Cha Hong asks the audience to contemplate their own reflection and ask: Who am I?
One of Korea´s most influential contemporary performing artists, Hong is a dancer, choreographer, and vocalist whose vivid avant-garde vision has “the ability to combine the Minimalist aesthetic of American experimental dance with the concentration found in Asian theater.” –The New York Times
Photo by Jae Hoon Lee
Funding provided by Jody and John Arnhold
Sin Cha Hong’s company laughing stone was established in New York in 1981, where we premiered works at La MaMa, The Asia Society, Japan House and Riverside Drive Church. Sin Chan Hong’s works toured also to China, Japan, Korea, Europe and South America.
Sin Cha Hong (1940~ ) is a choreographer, dancer, vocalist, meditator, and bestseller author, rated as one of the most influential artists in 20th century Korea. In 1966 she went to the US to study. After seven years she made her debut as choreographer and dancer with “Mourning” at a New York Dance Theater workshop, creating a sensation in the dance world of New York. For twenty years thereafter she worked in New York, establishing her reputation as pioneer of Asian avantgarde dance.
However, with the question “Who am I” in mind in 1975 she went to the Mekka of meditation, India, and lived there for three years finding enlightenment as favorite pupil of Osho (Shree Raineesh) and Ramana Maharshi. After returning back to New York in 1981 she founded Sin Cha Hong’s Laughing Stone Dance Theater, creating three works per year. She was highly praised continuously in the The New York Times and undertook a world tour, also, sponsored by Fulbright, the Asia Cultural Council, the Japan Foundation and others, she performed and lectured in Korea, Japan, and New York. Also, in 1989, she was the first foreign modern dancer to be invited to Beijing and major cities to introduce Asian avantgarde dance. In 1993, upon her return to Korea, her autobiography “No Excuse for Freedom” became a bestseller, and she founded the corporation “Laughing Stone”. For 16 successive years she organized the “Juksan International Art Festival”, the first international open air art festival in Korea and regularly organized meditation workshops. She also worked as guest professor at the Beijing Dance Academy and taught dance at the Korean National University of Arts.
Ou Jang Ping, dance critic and vice president of the Foreign Dance Dept of the Chinese National Dance Academy compared Sin Cha Hong with Isadora Duncan, Vaclav Nijinski and Martha Graham as the “flower of western dance with traditional East Asian roots. and during her tour in Germany 1998 the OTZ news paper in Weimar called her the Pina Bausch of Korea, while Ellen Stewart, the god-mother of world theater of the La Ma Ma Theater praised her as a dancer of which only one appears in a hundred years.
When Sin Cha Hong gave a performance in the Stage Masters ‘Series of the Arario Museum in Space’ in 2015, the doyen(Yong Koo Park) of the world of Korean Culture said that the Korean dance world can be divided into three, Korean Court Dance, Choi Seung-hee, and Sin Cha Hong. She also presented voice performances like “The Labyrinth” with Hwang Byung Ki.
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.