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A SHOWCASE PERFORMANCE
The showcase is based on the book The Sorrow of War, by Bao Ninh inspired by the spirit of the uprising in Gwangju*, South Korea in 1980. The working process has been driven by questions such as: what does war do to people? What is the response to brutality, destruction, and war? What does it mean to be human? Is it to sing and dance, to create and write until the end? Is that the answer?
The book The Sorrow of War, by Bảo Ninh is about the Vietnamese writer and soldier, Kien, who sets out to write about love and the beauty of life. But he can’t. Every time he tries, he is haunted by all the stories and horrors of the war. He then realises that to be able to live and love again, he needs to write about the war. Sorrow and Seeds is about the effects and consequences of war and the scars they leave on the human soul. Scars which no one can avoid, and which can exist through generations and across borders.
Sorrow and Seeds is a showcase performance, a collaboration between Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium and Eurasian Theatre Institute, led by Professor Dongil Lee in South Korea. As a showcase the performance is not complete. It acts as a demonstration of a larger scale project. The performance consists of 6 performers with various backgrounds in acrobatics, music, and circus artistry.
The showcase was originally supposed to be staged in the Asia Cultural Center (ACC) in Gwangju, next to the square where the uprising in Gwangju took place on 18 August 1980, when more than 2000 civilians were killed as a result of the uprising.
The uprising is one of the main sources of inspiration for the performance, which deals with the sorrow of war and the human spirit. As part of the creative process the team has worked on improvisations and physical scores as well as extracts from the book The Sorrow of War, which have then been translated into scenic material.
Due to Covid-19, the project has had to adapt to the circumstances. The showcase will therefore be live streamed instead, and shown at the South Korean literature festival, held in Gwangju on the 30th and 31st October at the Asia Culture Center.