Political Mobilization and Activism of Dance in Public Sphere, Seoul, 2014-2020

Yoon Soo Ryon

The project illuminates how dancers and choreographers mobilized dance -- especially social, traditional, and contemporary -- as a primary locus and medium of past and present political activities in Seoul between 2014 and 2020. Major incidents and scandals involving state-sanctioned censorship of the arts and sexual violence cases implicated Korean artists, who found themselves increasingly becoming the subjects of these high-profile political cases. This research investigates Seoul-based dancers and choreographers as a case study. In so doing, the research shows how the performers' use of their embodied practices beyond conventional methods of street rallies and political lobbying specifically helped bring concrete outcomes like transforming the existing cultures of performance making and changing performance-related government policies.