Former Korean National Ballet dancer Hee Ra Yoo has taught in New York City at Steps on Broadway, the Joffrey Ballet School, Peridance Capezio Center and Gibney; throughout the U.S. at American Dance Festival, Tulane University, Georgian Court University and Florida School of the Arts; and all over the globe, as a guest teacher in Japan, Canada, Korea, Austria and Italy, and coaching the Korean and Australian Olympic gymnastics teams. This weekend she's bringing her choreography to the stage with her company, Yoo and Dancers, in a limited engagement at Here Arts Center in NYC. Her piece More Than Memory is an exploration of the body's layers of memory within itself and its ability to create its future.
"I see my future by looking at my memories. Our body is creating new cells every second. How are we creating our future?" is the piece's tagline. It was honed since last September through Yoo's residency at the 92nd St. Y. Her company's mission is to break through cultural and language barriers with its work, which reflects its founder's global perspective.
Yoo and Korean guest choreographer Ji-Hee Lee fuse modern dance and Korean dance aesthetics to create a five-part work that gives the effect at times of a chain reaction, with dancers' sudden movements creating links and activating one another. In other sections there's a great deal of hesitation and striving, a jaggedness to the dance and occasional collapses, as if the future is unknowable or nearly unattainable.
The piece opens tonight at Here Arts Center and runs through Saturday, with two performances that day.