Screendance Activism, Online Platforms and Korean Political performance

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This practice-based research exploration involved creating screendance inspired by South Korea's Black Tent movement in 2016-2017. The Black Tent movement was formed voluntarily by artists and the public, responding to the cultural blacklist created by the Korean government and calling for the president's impeachment. The thesis examines how Black Tent functions as a public sphere contributing to a debate on public issues, and how it exploits both online and offline communities. Using this as an inspiration, I created seven screendances that engaged with dance activism in innovative ways. Based on these historical studies as an inspiration, this research establishes the motif 'the voice of yesterday, today, and tomorrow' to capture various chronological perspectives and interpretations of events that occurred throughout history. This practical research integrates four major themes: Social media, COVID-19, The ‘Comfort Women’ Issue (forcing women and girls into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II), and Short-form screendance; raising public awareness of current issues and concerns, synonymous to purpose of the Black Tent movement. The screendances were streamed on different online platforms, including webpages, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Each screendance presents both traditional and contemporary performance forms through variations in themes, music, props, and dancers' movements. Furthermore, this research practice discusses various forms of screendance to amplify the synergy between online and offline performance though the application of digital skills/technology to conventional screendance production. The use of digital skills/technology was a consequence of this research being conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the contemporary production methods were proposed, such as the 'Un- act' method (creating screendance virtually) or short-form screendance, developed through analysis of their exploratory and production skills. Whilst conducting the theoretical and practical activities together, this thesis investigated the possibilities of screendance as online artistic activism based on its digital and archival elements that can become a continuous online public sphere.
Date of Award15 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorAvanthi Meduri (Director of Studies), Heike Salzer (Co-Supervisor) & Stacey Prickett (Co-Supervisor)


  • Screendance
  • COVID-19
  • Black Tent
  • online activism
  • practice-led research
  • political performance
  • Korean performance
  • social media

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