10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON FOR EUN-HEE KIM'S
SUDDEN ENLIGHTMENT THEATRE
Choreography by Hey Jeong Yoon
Direction by Eun-Hee Kim
Sudden Enlightment Theatre presents The Road, a special 10th Anniversary season at Symphony Space, showing excerpts from three of the company's major works: "49 Days After Death," inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead; and excerpts from "Beyond the DMZ," about the division of Korea and destruction of thousands of families; and "Dreams of a Picture Bride," the story of Korean mail-order brides joining Korean workers in the Hawaii sugar cane fields.
Eun-Hee Kim has named the season "The Road," referring to the 10-year journey to her company's anniversary. A student of both history and politics, Kim usually bases her works on significant events in Korean history.
"49 Days After Death," was inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which describes 49 days from death to reincarnation. Special guest is Jihyun, a female Buddhist monk, director of a temple in Bayside, and a lifelong participant in traditional dance, chanting, and drumming. Monk Jihyun will perform traditional movements from the Ceremony for the Dead.
Told through taped dialogue, photo projections, and dance, "Beyond the DMZ" documents the history and hardships caused by the division of Korea, to North and South, more than 50 years ago. Countless families were separated in the process, forbidden to meet, exchange news, letters, even telephone calls. In 1983, South Korea initied a campaign called "Search for Separated Family Members," which resulted in an emotional meeting in Yoido Square, where families tried to identfy loved ones through old photographs. More than 20 years have passed since that event, but family meetings are still forbidden, and the first generation is now passing away without seeing their dream of reunification become a reality. "Beyond the DMZ" was produced in New York in 2004 and has also been performed in Berlin, at the Korean National Theatre, and on Korean TV.
"Dreams of a Picture Bride" tells the story of Korean mail-order brides who moved to Hawaii, during the years 1912 to 1924, to marry Korean men who worked in the sugar cane fields. In the excerpt to be shown at Symphony Space, a young bride is distressed after meeting her groom for the first time - she runs away, but he follows her and wins her back. After its premiere in 2002, Jennifer Dunning remarked that " 'Dreams' has the charming literalness and naivete of good folk art." (The New York Times)
Founder/director of Sudden Enlightenment is Seoul native Eun-Hee Kim, who has worked as an actor and theater director in Korea and the U.S.
Choreographer Hey Jeong Yoon, also from South Korea, was a professor at Kim Chon College before moving to New York in 1992. She earned degrees in dance in Korea and here at NYU.
Visit the Sudden Enlightment Theatre: The Road website: