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Choreographing Aff inities and Differences Notes on Korea-Africa Relations in Transnational Dance Collaboration

Yoon Soo-ryon;Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University;  
This article is a survey of four mid-career choreographers from the Repubic of Korea who collaborated with artists from Togo,the Republic of Congo,Nigeria,Cameroon,and Burkina Faso.With support from the state through a project titled "Cultural Partnership Initiative"(CPI),the choreographers used Korea-Africa dance collaboration as a way to contest and negotiate with cultural labels such as their own Koreanness.Their collaborative works come to signify two things: On the one hand,the state's growing interest in multicultural Koreanness by diversifying its cultural and diplomatic "partners." On the other hand,the artists' own desire to move away from reproducing a relatively more dominant mode of Euro-AmericanKorean collaboration.In this process of "partnering" with choreographers from Africa,the Korean choreographers found important feelings of affinities,but the perceived affinities only highlight differences among the participants who must consider sponsors' expectation for harmonious multiculturalism.In the end,the Korean choreographers employ various strategies to complicate the cultural agencies' transnational dance collaboration model that emphasizes a utopic and democratic working relationship.However,the imbalance between the Korean and African dancers in some of these collaborative working relationshipsstill leaves open the questions of the internal,often racialized,politics of Korea-Africa dance collaboration.
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