Lee Kyung-eun grapples with the goblin in us all in this bewitching solo

dance review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 17 Aug 2017

In this enigmatic and bewitching solo, Korean dancer Lee Kyung-eun attempts to find harmony with the goblin inside her mind. There’s one in all of us, she believes, and reconciling with it is the key to finding peace in ourselves.

This is a chaotic goblin – at first it seems there is no logic to Lee’s movement, and the travelling lines and uncanny shapes she takes us through feel like a style of dance you have never seen before. Quickly she sifts through images, one to the next: amphibian, prayer, brittle finger flicks; she unfolds into the shape of a hard branched tree; she traces the stage with one finger aloft. But gradually there are patterns that return – the fingers scuttling along the floor and twinkling in the air, the clenched fists. In the later passages her movement feels less crafted, freer and more raw. She opens her arms out and pelts herself in the chest.

Dressed in black shorts and a nude bandeau, with copper hair, lighting that shifts through pastel tones and black blood that pours out of her mouth, Lee cuts a sprightly figure, and the large stage fills with her presence. But it’s not always an easy piece to connect with. Understanding your own demons can be hard enough, so trying to catch hold of the shape and intention of Lee’s is sometimes a challenge. Still, the dance is gripping, fascinating and shape-shifting and Lee always keeps us guessing where her goblin may lead us next.