During this global epidemic surrounding COVID-19 and as many of us are idle at home, we sat down with Joo Ho Roh, one of our newest members of our main company who hails from Seoul, South Korea and learn of his background and personal experience dancing in Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and living at The Int’l Dance Village.
Tell us a bit about your dance background and where you’re from.
I’m Joo ho Roh. I come from Seoul, South Korea. I started dancing when I was around fourteen. This first experience wasn’t classical or contemporary dance, it was Bboying. Through this experience I learned how to respect other kind of dance style and was open to new ways to express myself. So eventually it led me to contemporary dance.
Where did you study and where did you dance prior to joining Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company?
My first education as a dancer was in Kaywon Art High School. From there I went to Sejong University and finished my bachelor’s. I took a brake during my master’s and decided to audition for Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC). I was previously a dancer in Tatmaroo Dance Company. I also worked in Roh Dance Company, Unplugged Bodies and other projects with numerous choreographers.
What attracted you to the movement language of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and that of Artistic Director Rami Be’er’s work?
The strong and energetic, yet very precise movements of this company attracted me to KCDC. The way the body produces energy and the method to controlling it is the most fascinating thing for me. And to mix it with great music and the meaning beneath it all is simply a wonder to experience.
What is it like living among professional dancers, international dance students, and dance professionals at The International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel?
It is a dream come true as a dancer and a mesmerizing experience as a person. The movement the company brings to the stage is shocking. When we have rehearsals and dance together, I’m speechless from the dancers’ ability to dance so flawlessly and it gives me chills every single day in the studio and on stage. But the kindness, hospitality, and the understanding that the company dancers and Kibbutz ‘team’ show is the most beautiful thing for me. More so the feeling strikes more as a family like atmosphere than a strict company. And as much as I’m growing and learning as a dancer, I feel like I’m growing and learning as a human being.
Can you share with us how/what you feel dancing with the company on stage?
To perform a piece that is so precisely made and practiced so many times, with the most capable dancers that I met on stage feels very secure. At this point I feel counting and technical stuff doesn’t matter anymore. I get more motivated beside my fellow dancers and it makes me pull out the best of my self. What ever happens, happens. So I enjoy the most emotional and amazing time on stage.
What’s your most memorable international experience with the company?
Azerbaijan. You never forget your first experience, and Azerbaijan was my first tour with the company.
As a dancer I think producing art in any form is like shining a light in a dark cave. It gives hope and power to others as well my self to go on. I feel that we’re in a crisis on a global scale and this fear and uncertainty is slowly devouring our normal lives. Why don’t we all shine some light together and stay strong to over come this situation?!
Come dance with us at our home at the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel and take part in the: