Eun-Me Ahn Dancing Grandmothers


Together, the three works by Eun Me Ahn, Dancing grandmothers, Middle age Men and Kids form a collection of epic novels fit for the XXIst century, and give a voice to several generations. They testify to the different ways of life in the choreographer’s native country, Korea. She uses this dance trilogy to build up a portrait of society. Put differently, she allows moving bodies to tell their own story.

American-style road movies are one thing, but Eun Me Ahn’s on-the-road shows are another. In 2010, accompanied by four dancers, and equipped with three cameras, the Korean choreographer went round the whole of her native country, in search of grandmothers aged between 60 and 90 years old. She wanted to share with them the joys of movement and rhythm, picking up on the simple, authentic gestures she spotted as she made her way through the different provinces. From out of this process came Dancing Grandmothers. A blend of images and moving bodies, dances and collective memory, this show on the frontier between documentary and fiction interwinds subtle dances with everyday gestures in a masterful way.

How do bodies which have reached the mid-point in their existence express themselves? Taking this question as a starting point, Eun Me Ahn developed a unique project entirely given over to the male gender. After reinvestigating patterns of behavior and customs from the 1960-1970’s, the choreographer dedicates this coming-of-age piece to them, creating a joyful piece which renews ties with forgotten souvenirs and physical sensations.

Turning now to today’s youth, the so-called “Teen Teen”, brings a whole new landscape. With humour and virtuosity, we are given an up to date portrait of their customs and practices. A whole gallery of styles and new attitudes emerges, making for a choreography of a truly jubilatory nature.