Alice Hwang ’22
The spoken word is easily misunderstood, so much so that by the time it reaches the listener, it may have an entirely different meaning. That is why even words that seem sincere may be misinterpreted. People use gestures to close the gap as much as possible.
Dance, which is pure gesture, is perhaps the most honest form of language. Dance is a different language, a lexicon that artists use to convey their message in the most genuine way, and through dance, one can express emotion and tell stories.
A dancer, I love my craft because of its purity of expression. My journey of dance as a new and different language is inspired by my teacher, Jemma Lee of South Korea.
I connected with Lee to discuss her journey of dance.
“As a team leader, a teacher, a dancer, and a director, I meet with various people with the same subject, dance. Among them, the Demitasse Project is a team that tells new stories through dance. I had an experience where I went to the U.S. alone to make a dance promotion video with some other dancers. Even though I’m not good at English, I knew then that I could communicate well just by dancing. That was the moment when I realized how beautiful it is to connect with someone for the first time through movements and tell my story through it. I took the emotions I felt at that time and started making small dance videos in Korea, and I named it the Demitasse Project. As I built up one by one like those videos, the project I started on my own soon became full of precious people to walk the same journey with me. Now they are like a family.”
After watching some of Lee’s dance videos, it becomes apparent that her dances are simply a form of story told through movements of the body. And it’s extraordinary.
“The method to compose choreography differs depending on the music. There are two main ways I achieve it. The first is telling a story after determining a certain person, object or situation. Our team decides on the story and plans the components of the choreography accordingly. The second way is to express the image from the music I hear at the moment with my body. I get immersed in every element of the music, moving my body according to the story that is immediately pictured in my head.”
Lee ended the interview with a heartwarming notion: “Dance is the way to love myself the most, and it is what makes me the happiest. I want to love myself more by dancing in the future. I also want people to see my dance and feel something without any deceit. And by this way I hope they will also love themselves even more. In the end, I hope that dancing will make everyone around me and myself happy.”