Traditional and Modern Dancers Create Tune
The LG Arts Center is preparing a special performance called ``Tune'' to combine the talents of the old and new generations of Korean dance.
Under the themes ``Fascination,'' ``Composition'' and ``Excitement,'' traditional dance masters and modern dancers will get together to display their distinctive moves on a single stage.
The three themes represent three different Korean traditional dance forms: the ``Gyobang Dance,'' the ``Seungmu'' and the ``Miryang Baekjung Dance,'' respectively.
The three separate stages will not only showcase the ancient beauty of Korean dance, but also present a rare chance where the audience can enjoy the fusion of the old and new through music and dance.
The gyobang dance was a form performed by ``gisaeng," or Korean female entertainers, during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). It is particularly famous for its elegance and seductive movements that bring out traditional beauty and rhythm.
Korea traditional dancer Kim Eun-hee is famous for her experimental works based on traditional elements. For this performance, Kim has prepared an energetic and speedy sequence. Following Kim's performance is Park Gyeong-rang's gyobang dance, where she is expected to mesmerize the audience with her grace and poise.
Park started dancing when she was four, following in her grandfather's footsteps. Mastering traditional dance and also modern ballet, she struggled to revive traditional dance but still managed to maintain her vision to introduce an easier way for the public to understand the ancient dance form. She has been named Intangible Cultural Property No. 21 for her mastery of Jinju Gyobang Dance, and also Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 7 for "Ogwangdae," a performance for five masked dancers.
Seungmu is a folk dance and is also known as the ``monk's dance'' because the dancers perform wearing Buddhist monks' robes. Designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 27, the dance offers various forms found from the religion, including praying.
Chae Sang-muk, the master of the dance form, has made headlines with his works that combine Western music and seungmu for the past couple years. Frequently criticized by his seniors for ``butchering'' the traditional dance, he has been deeply interested in modernizing the dance form throughout his whole career. For this show, he is performing with modern dancer Lee Yong-woo to present the beautiful movements of seungmu with a modern twist. While Chae plans to present the traditional seungmu, characterized by the concepts of inner anguish and enlightenment, Lee will perform his creative work inspired by seungmu.
Chae learned traditional dance from numerous dance masters, including master Lee Mae-bang. He was one of the first dancers to welcome modernity in traditional dance, and thanks to his efforts, Korean dance has reached a whole new level. Lee started out as an aspiring dancer, and has now started another career in acting. Winning numerous awards, he is currently one of the leading modern dancers in Korea.
Miryang Baekjungnori is a festival that was carried out in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province. Thanks to its rich history and various programs, including dance and music sequences, it was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 68.
Ha Yong-bu, a revered Korean traditional dancer and the holder of the dance form, will display his works with modern dancer Cha Jin-yeob. While Ha will grace the audience with various sequences of the dance, including a drum dance, Cha will follow her long-time teacher's lead and present a new version of the excitement and culture of our ancestors.
Along with Chae, Ha is also one of the most important dancers in the Korean traditional dance scene. He started dancing when he was five years old, learning various types of traditional dance from his grandfather, famous dancer Ha Bo-gyeong. With a deep interest in performing arts, he also stretched his artistry to theater, and is still performing back and forth in Seoul and Milyang. Cha has been recognized abroad for her talents and sophisticated movements. Performing for the Hofesh Shechter Company in England and the Galili Dance Company, she is also a renowned choreographer both here and abroad.
``Tune'' will be staged at the LG Arts Center on April 9 and 10. Tickets cost from 30,000 to 60,000 won. For more information, visit www.lgart.com or call (02) 2005-0114.