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Edinburgh Fringe 2022 

Are You Guilty
Venue 22: Dance Base - Studio 3
Aug 18-21, 23-28, 16:50 /  Tickets
Aug 17, 2022

Korea’s TOB Group presents a double bill of contemporary dance shows exploring the bystander effect and mass consumerism. The show fuses together hip-hop, theatre and dance to illustrate our social landscape, relatable to audiences anywhere in the world. Are You Guilty? showcases a radical and contemporary view of the bystander effect and explores the fine line between a perpetrator and a victim using amazing dance moves. Barcode, a bold new work about mass consumerism, questions our need to acquire goods and the value we attach to products and even people. Part of the Korean Showcase 2022.

Hi Min thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping?

Thanks for having us, it's been quite a summer here in Korea—preparing for the Fringe has obviously been a huge thing on my list so was just struggling a bit to stay on the top of things— but we're absolutely thrilled for sure. Just a few hours left until our flight to Edinburgh, actually.

How does it feel to be bringing Are You Guilty? to Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Korean Showcase this summer?

It's such a grateful opportunity to the extent it feels surreal, really. I'm personally very invested in this piece, and it has evolved so much since its inception—through many late nights, adding and deleting certain scenes, and experimenting with movements with the help of our team. It's more than exciting, and flattering, to showcase this in one of the largest art festivals in the world. I'm nervous but overwhelmingly in joy.

Can you tell me how Are You Guilty? came about, what was the key inspiration behind this u unique double-bill?

Something about the irony drew me to the bystander effect. They say when we are placed in a crowd, it becomes easier to sit by and watch the tragedy. There's a huge irony but at the same time, I felt it was an experience we all likely share. We all aim to be good to one another, but I come to think this can be more difficult than I had once thought.

What was it about the bystander effect and mass consumerism that interested you so much as a choreographer?

Both topics provided timely questions to throw to the audience but also myself, I think. One thing I really value is reflecting in my work the layman's observations—so naturally, the works I produce can stay adjacent to what I see and feel. I believe they should always be in parallel to each other. Being bystanders, questioning the odd sense of alienation that follow, our inexplicable tendencies as consumers and customers...they are all grounded on shared experiences. If not even more after the pandemic.


"The overarching concept initially dictates the piece. When the sketch becomes more precise, then I start to refine the movements."

Conspicuous and Revenge Consumption are two very intriguing concepts that almost all audiences will be subconsciously aware of. When you created Barcode & Are You Guilty? did you begin to realise how much you had participated in these concepts?

Barcode definitely was built upon the two concepts. I wanted to illustrate how our method and attitude of consumption can be distorted in a humorous yet solid way. A consistent tension from ‘Are You Guilty?’ will segue into ‘Barcode,’ but the latter has its own narrative and weight.

How did TOB Group come about and how much has your approach to your shows changed since you started?

The name might speak for itself but TOB, Think Outside the Box, is a fair slogan that describes our identity. The free interaction between various genres including hip-hop, theatre, and contemporary dance is something I have envisioned since the inception of TOB Group. Wit is another big element. My approach remains the same, by organically blending restrained movement and exaggerated expressions.

When a new show is running how much flexibility do you allow yourself and your dancers with the piece?

When the initial sketch or concept of a show is determined, I consider the choreography as creating a black-and-white version of the story. The overarching concept initially dictates the piece. When the sketch becomes more precise, then I start to refine the movements. The degree of flexibility or room for improvisation really depends on the piece, or even in certain scenes therein.

And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Are You Guilty?

There is a certain tension we hope to contain throughout the entire show. What seems spontaneous may actually be carefully planned. What seems extremely scheduled may in fact be movements made impromptu. Tension is built and maintained with an orchestrated improvisation. We hope the audience will fully enjoy the planned happenstance of this piece.

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