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http://www.tapestryofsacredmusic.com/2013/uisig.html#.UVJWNRwoyWU
Uisig: Spirit of Dance

by Park Kyung Rang and the Deuneum Ensemble (Korea)


19 Apr, Fri, 7.30pm
Esplanade Recital Studio
(1hr 10mins, no intermission)

The Korean dancer is seldom still. She moves continuously, and through her interconnected movements, she embodies the Korean approach to life and spirituality – that everything in this world, everything we experience or do, is part of an interconnected whole. In her agile footwork and graceful stances, she combines sombreness and joy, grace and strength.

But the Korean dancer is never alone – she is always part of a larger stage featuring traditional Korean musicians on customary wind, string and percussion instruments. The art they create is always varied and complex, drawing from the cultural wellsprings of Korean shamanism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Let acclaimed Korean dancer Park Kyung Rang and the Deuneum Ensemble transport you to classical Korea with a performance of traditional Korean dances and music.

The trio of dance performances by Park Kyung Rang includes Seungmu, one of Korea’s most famous traditional dances with its origins in Buddhist ritual. Accompanied by the otherworldly voice of traditional Korean string instruments and sombre drums, Park Kyung Rang will capture all eyes as she flows across the stage, her long silken sleeves fluttering in ritualistic slow motion.

Park Kyung Rang will also perform Salpuri, a dance that is rooted in shamanistic traditions and which expresses the beauty and sadness of human emotions, as well as Gyobang, an intricate piece traditionally performed by Korean courtesans. In it, Park Kyung Rang is fluid, graceful and ephemeral. She swirls and flutters to the beat of gutgeori rhythm, teasing the court with glimpses of her colourful multi-layered skirts.

The Deuneum Ensemble will also perform traditional sacred music that is linked to occasions of blessing and celebration. Led by Park Jon Ho, the ensemble consists of six musicians who all hail from eminent musical families.


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“Open door, open door, you ghosts!
As we, men enter into this door, all the blessings of the world will come in with us.”


- Line from Binari, a traditional musical piece performed at the beginning of classical Korean music and dance performances


Body of Faith

Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism – as each held sway in Korea, each influenced the beauty and art of Korean dance and music. Whether originally supported by religious institutions or by the former court, whether performed for entertainment or as part of rituals, these classical Korean art forms have come to be seen as cornerstones of Korean faith and identity.

“Korean classical dance” – it is a phrase that conjures images of delicate female dancers poised in elaborate costumes. In truth, it encompasses a vast variety of dances that differ both in context and the manner in which they are performed.

What these dances do have in common, however, is their long tradition and their ties to the spiritual and cultural influences that have shaped Korea. Dances such as the Gyobang evolved within the Korean court while Salpuri and Seungmu are folk dances which can trace their roots to Buddhist rituals and shamanistic rites.

Shamanism in Korea

Shamanism in Korea predates Buddhism and Confucianism. For many centuries, it was the first and central state religion of Korea. Shamans were enlisted by clients to heal the ill, appease spirits and thwart negative forces. They did so through elaborate rites that involved going into a trance, singing and dancing. They would also don deeply symbolic costumes.

These exorcism rites later influenced the development of dances such as Salpuri, which is performed today for entertainment and artistic appreciation. In it, the dancer starts moving to slow-based shinawi music [extensively improvised rhythms using wind and percussion instruments]. He or she then builds up speed, performing in a trance-like state; formalised movements expressing the beauty and sadness of human emotion.

Influences from Abroad

Formalised movements are also found in the traditional dances based on Buddhist rituals, such as the Seungmu. Like Confucianism, Buddhism was introduced to Korea from China.

Seungmu originated as a ritual dance performed in Buddhist temples and then evolved into a dance for the stage. Thus, the costume the dancer dons for the dance is still reminiscent of a monk's robe, laden with religious symbolism. Seungmu is remarkable for its aesthetic beauty; inherent in the dancer’s long flowing sleeves, the serenity of her white costume, and her soul-stirring movement.

On the other hand, classical Korean court dances such as the Gyobang evolved fully within traditional Korean culture with no influence from abroad. Performed by ki-saeng, or courtesans, the dance features a solo dancer teasing the audience with swirling movements and colourful glimpses of her multi-layered skirts.

The Harmonisation of Belief

In many classical Korean dance forms, the relationship between dance and music, between dancer and musician, is particularly significant.

After all, classical Korean musicians occupy a place of honour on stage that is equal to that of the dancer. Frequently, these musicians perform highly stylised movements themselves while dancers play musical instruments.

The music they play, much like the dances, can be divided into two main groups of court music and folk music. Through the years, classical Korean music has always played a central role within religious rituals and ceremonies of the court.

In Uisig: Spirit Of Dance, acclaimed Korean dancer Park Kyung Rang and the Deuneum Ensemble will perform a trio of classical Korean dances and two musical pieces that are linked to occasions of blessing and celebration. Central to the performance are traditional instruments such as the janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum), piri (a cylindrical double-reed pipe) and haegeum (a string instrument resembling a fiddle).


Performers
Dancer: Park Kyung Rang
Leader of Deuneum: Park Jon Ho
Janggu: Park Chong Hun
Piri: Lee Jae Hyuk
Haegeum: Won Na Kyung
Dae-geum: Jeong Kwang Yoon
A-jeang: Cho Soung Jae
Stage Manager: Lee Jong Jin
Stage hand: Yoon Jong Whan
Producer: Kim Shinah

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Uisig: Spirit of Dance
by Park Kyung Rang and the Deuneum Ensemble (Korea)
19 Apr, Fri, 7.30pm
Esplanade Recital Studio

(1hr 10min no intermission)

The Korean dancer is seldom still. She moves continuously, and through her interconnected movements, she embodies the Korean approach to life and spirituality -- that everything in this world, everything we experience or do, is part of an interconnected whole. In her agile footwork and graceful stances, she combines sombreness and joy, grace and strength.

Join us for just one night as acclaimed Korean dancer Park Kyung Rang performs a trio of classical Korean court dances, accompanied by the Deuneum Ensemble. The trio includes Seungmu, Korea's most famous traditional dance which is based on Buddhist Rituals. Accompanied by the otherworldly voice of traditional Korean string instruments and sombre drums, Park Kyung Rang will capture all eyes as she flows across the stage, her long silken sleeves fluttering in ritualistic slow motion. Park Kyung Rang will also perform Salpuri, a dance which has its roots in shamanistic traditions and expresses the beauty and sadness of human emotions. Gyobang, an intricate piece traditionally performed by Korean courtesans is fluid, graceful and ephemeral. Park Kyung Rang swirls and flutters to the beat of gutgeori rhythm, teasing the court with glimpses of her colourful multi-layered skirts. Park Kyung Rang is accompanied by six musicians on traditional Korean wind, string and percussion instruments. The Deuneum Ensemble will also perform instrumental pieces based on traditional Korean shamanistic and religious rites.

http://www.tapestryofsacredmusic.com
 
Park Kyung Rang
(Korea)

Born in Gosung in 1961, traditional Korean dance master Park Kyung Rang studied dance with her grandfather, the late Kim Chang Hoo. Kim was the first designated holder in the intangible cultural heritage Goseong Ogwangdae. Park later studied dance through intensive courses at Sejong University's department of dance. She trained with experts like Cho Yong Bae and Hwang Mu Bong to master various sorts of traditional dance and manners of southern Korean dance


Park received prizes from Gaecheon Dance Festival and the prestigious Jeonju Grand National Competition for Traditional Music on numerous occasions, and also the President's Prize at Seoul Traditional Performing Arts Competition in 1997. Since her first professional debut in 1993 with her original repertoires, she has held over 100 performances in both Korea and abroad.

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