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'Scent of Ink' to be performed at Kennedy Center in Washington

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : Oct. 16, 2023 - 15:05

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The National Dance Company of Korea performs The National Dance Company of Korea performs "Scent of Ink" at the National Arts Center's Southam Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Oct. 10. (National Theater of Korea)

The National Dance Company of Korea is set to perform “Scent of Ink” at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington on Wednesday as part of its tour in North America, which kicked off on Oct. 10 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Directed by Jung Ku-ho and choreographed by Yun Sung-joo, the dance performance has been praised for its meticulous mise-en-scene. The stage and choreography for "Scent of Ink" highlights the beauty of traditional Korean dance through strong yet elegant movements.

Themed around "sagunja," or the Four Gracious Plants, which were believed to represent the characteristics of "seonbi," or scholars, during the Joseon era (1392-1910), the dance performance resembles the brushstrokes of ink on paper through its six chapters.

The first and last chapters evoke the contrast between black and white through dance, while the four chapters in between elicit the vibrant colors of the four sagunja plants -- orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom -- as well as their corresponding four seasons.

Premiered in 2013 in South Korea, "Scent of Ink" has also enjoyed popularity on stages around the world including Japan, Hong Kong, France, Denmark, Hungary and Serbia.

After its US tour, the National Dance Company of Korea will stage "Scent of Ink" at the Haeoreum Grand Theater in Seoul from Dec. 14-17. Tickets are available online on Interpark.

Poster for Poster for "Scent of Ink" (National Theater of Korea)