Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

17/04/2018 - 21/04/2018

Production Details

Jang Huddle presents
Iron Eyes
Created by Cindy Jang

Dancer delves into family history for piece on North and South Korea

Jang Huddle, founded by fresh new talent Cindy Jang (SOCIO, Short & Sweet), presents its debut work Iron Eyes (17th-21st February, Basement Theatre). Iron Eyes is a contemporary, experimental dance performance exploring the vastly complicated socio-political conflict between North and South Korea, and more loosely, the impact of power and control. The core ensemble is made up of six dancers, Evie Logan, Bethany Laylock, Yin- Chi Lee, Joanne Chun, Talia Pua and Cindy Jang, who are devising the work using both dance and physical theatre.

We welcome you to the zone of Iron Eyes. Accept the invitation. Lay down your assumptions. Reposition yourself. Allow limitation. Relish the unexpected perception. Relinquish your agency. You’ll be safer in the light.

Iron Eyes puts the current world situation into an interactive performance. It plays with the idea of a change in perspective, guiding the audience through the performance and shifting their view of the performance by moving them through the space, prompted by the performers. The choreography of the work is informed by Cindy’s cultural roots, with a particular emphasis on the ongoing conflict between North and South Korea.

“I decided to share this story after being inspired by various readings about the differences in South and North Korea and listening to my Grandma’s story about her time in the North and how she fled to the South, leaving family and friends behind. We can’t keep hiding these stories under the rug as Korean culture so often does. Iron Eyes is the place to talk.” – Cindy Jang, creator of Iron Eyes

Cindy Jang is a Korean-born kiwi, and she wants to acknowledge her Korean roots as well as her Turangawaewae. She is a recent and enthusiastic graduate from the Dance Studies programme at the University of Auckland and she is currently furthering her dance development by doing her postgraduate Honours in Dance Studies. She is an aspiring choreographer and community dance facilitator, and the founder of Jang Huddle, an experimental dance ensemble.

Dates: 17th – 21st April
Venue: Studio, Basement Theatre
Tickets: $18 – $22

For all media enquiries please contact: Alice Kirker – Producer 021 217 1960 //

Dancers - Jang Huddle members: Evie Logan, Bethany Laylock, Yin- Chi Lee, Joanne Chun, Talia Pua and Cindy Jang

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

Distinctively Korean

Review by Chloe Klein 19th Apr 2018

Iron Eyes is the first creative collaboration of Jang Huddle, an immersive physical theatre work exploring Korean tensions, particularly relating to the divide between North and South Korea.

Jang Huddle’s work is ambitious. Iron Eyes is packed with non-stop ideas and scenes from the moment of entering The Basement until leaving again. The stairway into Basement’s studio features posters of what I guess (please bear with me, I am not Korean) are Korean cultural codes, at the door we are given name stickers with a new Hangul name; inside, four groups rotate around interactive performer displays, and as an audience we are displaced and relocated every couple of minutes.

The performers are committed, unified, and obviously passionate about the work.  They are dressed in traditionally inspired white linen costumes (beautifully designed by Nora Zhong).

Each idea presented is saying something, but I’m not exactly sure what. Ideas are flicked through faster than I can process them, like a viewfinder switching just before you see the whole picture. When I reflect on the work, each idea has promising potential, but it seems Jang Huddle do not yet have the experience to refine, develop, and edit their great ideas to a cohesive whole. Political tensions between North and South Korea, and the effect the North/South divide has had on Koreans is a mammoth topic to approach in one, hour-long work (understatement of the year). Added to this is the telling of Cindy Jang’s own family history, her grandmother fleeing North Korea as a child and the relationship of this to her life in New Zealand today. In trying to include everything, the voices of the performers become muddy and confused. Interesting ideas are dropped and never seem to resurface.

There are poignant moments of feeling throughout the work: a performer asks audience members to break eggs into a bowl, but gasps in pain and fear each time the egg is about to break causing the audience to recoil in hesitation; a solemn military march suddenly becomes an overstimulating KPop showcase that breaks back down to a march again; the audience is made to stand and face the back wall, the performers are armed officers behind us; we are asked to split ourselves according to false dichotomies- “are you male or female? Are you a leader or follower? Alcoholic or insomniac?”

The work is made up of distinctively Korean voices and the use of Korean language, Korean-inspired soundscapes and costuming are present. This is a refreshing breath of difference.

The mental, and often physical, work required of me as an audience member to grasp and connect each new idea ultimately leaves me feeling confused and a little stressed.

I look forward to seeing how Jang Huddle matures as a collective in future works, bringing a much needed New Zealand Korean perspective to our stage.



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