Premiere: February 8, 2013, PearlArts Studios Artists-in-Residence Showcase, Pittsburgh, PA
Created by: Maree ReMalia in collaboration with Hyunjung Lee
Performers: Hyunjung Lee and Maree ReMalia
Length: 30 minutes
Lighting Designer: Peter Milo
Soundtrack Design: Herman Soy Sos Pearl
Music: Benga, DJ Amazing Clay, Pearl Sisters, Amon Tobin
Photography: Bill Shirley
Videography: David Bernabo, Gordon Kirkwood, and Maree ReMalia
Q&A Moderator: Adil Mansoor
*Special thank you to PearlArts Movement Residency/Staycee and Herman Pearl, Jasmine Hearn, Beth Ratas, Jil Stifel.
Slants began as an examination and expression of Hyun’s and my Korean/Korean-American cultural backgrounds and a continuation of our physical research through the Gaga movement language. In 2011-2012, we completed the first official Gaga Teacher Training program in Tel Aviv, Israel. During the program, we discussed the creation of a duet that could also be performed as independent solos. We wanted the piece to reflect our individual dance histories in traditional Korean dance, classical ballet, contemporary dance and our common experience of Gaga. Initial themes ranged from Korean han to our comedic banter to our experience of being identified as Asian and our own associations with this definition, to our love for Korean cuisine and bacon.
In this playful amalgamation, the creators demonstrate their multi-layered experience in each passing moment. Their abstracted expressions draw from everyday encounters and their influences in traditional Korean dance, classical ballet, Africanist forms, contemporary dance, and the Gaga movement language. Through slips of the absurd and flashes of introspection, this ever-shifting montage reveals the range of the duo’s relationship from their comedic banter to living with Korean han (an inherent “soulful sadness” or “perseverance”). While ReMalia and Lee share commonalities throughout the work, their individual ways of being and manifestations of movement are embraced. The initial two months of the creative process occurred via Skype and video exchange between the U.S. and South Korea; in January, they came together for the final development of the work at PAS.