The History of Korean Western Theatre

    08/05  | 20:30 - 21:30
    09/05  | 18:00 - 19:00
    10/05  | 20:30 - 21:30
    13/05  | 20:30 - 21:30
    14/05  | 19:00 - 20:00
    15/05  | 20:30 - 21:30
    16/05  | 18:00 - 19:00

€16 / €13
Korean → NL, FR, EN

In 2008, Jaha Koo attended a symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of Korean theatre. Nonplussed by it, he wondered whether other countries could establish such a precise genealogy for their theatre, when and how western theatre was imported into their countries, and how it became a substitute for popular, traditional theatre to the point of becoming the only theatrical expression in South Korea. The History of Korean Western Theatre tries to find answers to these questions — why does everyone keep on referring to Shakespeare and deciphers the lost identity of Korean theatre. Following Cuckoo, which he has taken worldwide, Jaha Koo is premiering his latest creation at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts. The History of Korean Western Theatre focuses on the way in which the past tragically affects our lives today and attempts to produce a crack in modern Confucianism whose heritage, tinged notably by Americanisation, the high-tech, militarism, patriarchy and totalitarianism, continues to shape the moral system, way of life and intergenerational social relationships in South Korea.

Confronted with the SARS-CoV-2 crisis, we had to cancel this project

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts-Beursschouwburg

Concept, text, direction, music, video and performance: Jaha Koo
Dramaturgy: Dries Douibi
Scenography: Eunkyung Jeong and Jaha Koo
Technical: Korneel Coessens and Philippe Digneffe
Research: Eunkyung Jeong and Jaha Koo
Research Assistance: Sang Ok Kim
Interview Filming: Yoonsik Lee and Injun Na
Production: CAMPO
Co-produced by: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Münchner Kammerspiele,
Frascati Producties (Amsterdam), Veem House for Performance (Amsterdam),
SPRING performing arts festival (Utrecht), Zürcher Theaterspektakel, Black Box teater (Oslo), International Summer Festival Kampnagel (Hamburg), Tanzquartier Wien, wpZimmer (Antwerp), Théâtre de la Bastille (Paris) and Festival d’Automne à Paris
Residencies: Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk), wpZimmer (Antwerp), Doosan Art Center (Seoul)
With the support of: Beursschouwburg, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie and
Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
Performances in Brussels supported by the Korean Cultural Center of Brussels

CAMPO is supported by the city of Ghent and the Flemish Community.

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Jaha Koo
Jaha Koo (°1984) is a South Korean theater/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues.

Since 2014, Koo has been working on his Hamartia Trilogy. This trilogy thematically focuses on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today. The first part of the trilogy, Lolling and Rolling, was first presented by Zürcher Theater Spektakel in 2015. The second piece, Cuckoo, was premiered at Steirischer Herbst Festival in 2017. Already in Lolling & Rolling and Cuckoo, Jaha Koo zoomed in on themes that embody a clash of Eastern and Western culture. From cutting string of tongue to make it in the West, to the heavy personal toll of Western interference on a macroeconomic level. Koo’s current project is the final part of the trilogy, The History of Korean Western Theater. It will premiere in the spring of 2020. 

Koo majored in theatre studies (BFA) at Korea National University of Arts and studied at DasArts (MA) in Amsterdam. He’s been living and working in Belgium for the past few years. The History of Korean Western Theatre is his first production created at the Ghent-based and internationally touring arts centre CAMPO. GuJAHA is the pseudonym of Jaha Koo as a music composer. His most recent EP was Copper and Oyster in 2015.

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