Project INTUS, Hoyoung Im ©Kira Hofmann

Utopia or Dystopia?

Project INTUS by choreographer Hoyoung Im plays at UFER_STUDIOS from the 12th to 14th January, 2024 and tells a story of progress, global crises and looking inwards.

“Welcome to the future!” begins the lecture by Hoyoung Im (umzikssi), a motivated employee of He explains how Mars will soon be habitable thanks to technological progress and the company’s dedicated scientists. We are taken on a journey through the Milky Way system, zooming past numerous planets, our sun and other stars at the speed of light until we finally land in intergalactic space. I am overcome by a feeling of unlimited possibilities. Can really succeed in making other planets habitable?

At the end of the lecture, we are brought back from outer space to the here and now: a destroyed, desert-like landscape; the minimalist, futuristic scenography (by Soojin Oh). A horizontally floating rectangle encompassing the stage is broken up by a vertically floating oval. Erol Alexandrov lives on this devastated earth, going about his daily life. He drags the upper body of a life-size mannequin through the deserted space. The same dance sequence is repeated several times. Is it forced, is it Sisyphean labour to pursue an everyday life on this desolate earth? My thoughts turn to the upper body that the dancer drags around with him. Who or what is he clothing, protecting, caring for here? Is there hope for a better world, can dystopia turn into utopia and where do the promises of come in?

We are taken to a completely different scenario onboard a spaceship with a younger man. The astronaut skilfully navigates the spaceship through the galaxy, his manoeuvres developing into an exciting choreography. Hoyoung Im steers the ship directly towards the Intus black hole. He wants to know what the inside of the black hole looks like and is prepared to give his life for science, progress, new opportunities and his company. I think about heroism, but also about loneliness on this mission and the constant confrontation with oneself. Although I was previously overcome by a feeling of unlimited possibilities, I now find it absurd to explore the unknown dimensions of space instead of doing everything in our powers to save our home planet.

In fast-forward, we see the performer’s childhood memories up to the present moment. He meets himself, then the other dancer. Both generations find each other and in their differences and similarities, they develop a moving, powerful choreography, a mutual understanding. With “we are the new generation, we believe that there is something better than ourselves”, I am brought back to the audience at UFER_STUDIOS. After an hour of being sucked directly into the action on stage, into INTUS, into the inside, I turn back to reality. Or is what I think of as reality also a utopia?

English translation by Isabel Robson

Project INTUS by Hoyoung Im (umzikssi) (Performance: Erol Alexandrov, Hoyoung Im) premiered at UFER_STUDIOS on January 13, 2024 with performances from January 12-14, 2024.