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The Korean Dance Studies Society (KDSSC), is fuelled by the spirit, energy and inspiration derived from the Korean Culture, by nurturing traditional Korean dance and exploring contemporary dances rooted in the traditional aesthetics.
The artistic director, Mi Young Kim, first opened a company under the name Mi Young Kim Folk Dance Institute in 1979 and adopted the name Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada in 1987 when the company expanded its services. The KDSSC’s goal is to invoke awareness and promote Korean dance and music throughout Canada, as well as developing the form within our Canadian context.
In order to enrich culture, multiculturalism and community, the mandate of the Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada stipulates that KDSSC promotes Korean traditional dance and music throughout Canada for both Koreans and other Canadians by
(1) creating and producing both traditional dance works and contemporary works based on traditional practices and aesthetics;
(2) promoting community interactions through the presentation of culturally diverse traditional and contemporary dance forms;
(3) providing instructions and workshops of Korean traditional dance and music/rhythm (drums) to general public, semiprofessionals, as well as professionalsin-training to prepare them for future careers in the field of Korean Traditional Dance.
To provide high quality and accessible Korean dance to the public, KDSSC has 3 major components: the Soo Ryu School of Dance and Drum, the Mi Young Kim Dance Company and the Soo Ryu Dance Festival. The dance school is the only institution in Canada that offers a professional program of Korean traditional and contemporary dance and has acted as the only source of nurturing dance professionals in the field of Korean dance. KDSSC presents Mi Young Kim Dance Company Performances (selfpresentations that showcase the choreographic work of the Artistic Director) and the Soo Ryu Dance Festival that presents a cross section of cultural work.
“Dance of Soul”(1997), “We Are One” (1998), “Millennium Cheer” (1999), “Shin Myeong”(2000), “Celebrating Choom 50 Years” (2001), “Dance As A Ritual” (2002), “Symbiosis” (2003), “Hwang Jin Yee” (2004), “Eol Ssi Goo, Jo’o Ta” (2005),
“Dae Jang Geum” (2006), “Essence of Queen” (2007), “Kaksori Taryung” (2007), “Shim Chung” (with guest artist Peter Chin) (2008), “Dapdori/Lantern Dance” (2009), “Crossing” (in collaboration with Sashar Zarif) (2010), “Soo Ryu Drum Dance” (2010), “Byeong Poong” (2011), “Shaman Dance” (2011), “Celebration Dance” (2011), “Maple Leaf” (2011), “Azalea” (2012),
“MuMu” (2013), “Canada Arirang” (2014)
1979 — Mi Young Kim Korean Folk Dance Institute was founded 1987— Establishment of the Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada 1997— Dance of Soul, 1 st full-length company performance
1999 — Millennium Cheer 1st multi-cultural dance project led by KDSSC, precursor to the Soo Ryu Dance Festival
2002 — KDSSC’s professional training program, with Mi Young Kim as head instructor, joined the National Arts Training Canada Program, funded by Department of Canadian Heritage
2003 — Founded the Soo Ryu Dance Festival, a multi-cultural dance festival. 1st ed., titled Symbiosis
2004 — KDSSC gained operational status at the Toronto Arts Council
2005 — KDSSC became part of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s National Arts Training Contribution Program
2007 — Kaksori, 1st edition of the Mi Young Kim Dance Company Performance. Soo Ryu Dance Festival is switched to a biennial event.
– KDSSC gained operational status at the Ontario Arts Council
– KDSSC is awarded charitable status by the CRA
– Research on Korean Buddhist dance at the Bong Won Temple, Korea. In the same year, the temple sent 8 monks to Toronto to perform a Canadian debut of their Yeong San Jae Ceremony, Korea’s Intangible Cultural Asset #51
* The Bon Won Temple (South Korea) shortly received UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status for their Yeong San Jae ceremony after their debut at the 2008 Soo Ryu Dance Festival. They returned in the next year and offered a free performance for our Canadian Korean War veterans and Canadian-Korean community on Remembrance Day, as thanks to KDSSC and their Canadian supporters.
2008 — 09— KDSSC’s strategic planning and renewal, resulting in the new mission statement, hiring of in-house administrator, founding of the core team and the executive committee
2009 — Presentation on Buddhist dance in Canada at the Yeong San Jae Academic Seminar in Seoul, Korea
2010 — Started an artistic residency for performing artists from Korea, offering public classes and professional training for Canadians
– Hosted the first free networking dinner for arts professionals, local media, cultural workers and arts funders, under Mi Young Kim’s 60th Anniversary in Arts celebration
– 60 Years of Rhythm and Movement – Mi Young Kim’s 60th anniversary in the arts celebration performance was presented and was officially acknowledged by the Governor General, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Korean Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Toronto
– Hosted the first symposium on Korean dance and the second free networking dinner for arts professionals, local media, cultural workers and arts funders with the support of the Capacity Building Initiative Project Grant,
– Presented the 7th 2012 Soo Ryu Dance Festival.
– KDSSC received multi-year operational status from the Ontario Arts Council
– Organized Kick it up the Korean Dance events in May : 1) the 2nd Symposium on the recent development of Korean dance and the networking dinner with 8 invited speakers (2 Professors from Korea, 3 Ontario ministers) thanks to the Capacity Building Initiative Project Grant; 2) Korean dance performance.
– Hosted the 1st “K-dance Appreciation Day” event to thank our supporters in the neighboring communities, to attract young generations, to improve the company’s profile, to provide the artistic inspiration for our training students and professionals dancers.
– Presented the new innovative dance drama “K-dance Revolution MuMu” featuring beautiful Korean dance and powerful martial arts by the international team including Mi Young Kim Dance Company and Alive Artcal Ryu Dance Company (Korea)
2014 — Hosted the 8th Soo Ryu Dance Festival and premiered “Canada Arirang”
2015 — Hosted “Dongnae Hak Chum” Workshop and performance featuring Sung-Hoon Lee
2016 — Hosted Modeumbuk workshop and 9th SOORYU Dance Festival featuring MARO
2017 — Ontario 150 Community Celebration ” Stepping Through Times
The Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada (KDSSC) is a creative dance organization that honours Korean tradition and culture while collaborating across cultures and generations. We provide a supportive home for professional dancers, pre-professional dance students and dedicated amateurs as we seek to unite all Canadian cultures through the art and practice of dance.