A Story of Women who came back from the death : Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More

‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’ is a non-verbal performance telling only with Korean traditional dance. Without telling the story and even without the knowledge, there are things to understand on the stage. There are the rhythm, motion, ideology and emotion which is hidden in Korean people’s mind. It is expressed by the folk tale ‘The tales of Mrs. Domi” and “Igongbonpuri” and by the Korean traditional dances such as ‘Taepyeongmu” and “Sword Dance”.

The Story of “Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More” is based on the Korean old folk tales-“The tale of Mrs. Domi” and “Igongbonpuri”. “The tale of Mrs. Domi” tells about that the lascivious king of Baekjae tries to violate Mrs. Domi but the wise woman overcomes the danger and confirm her love with her husband. “Igongbonpufi” is a one of the narrative shamanic myths in Jeju-gut(Shamanic ritual in Jeju Island). It is about that Wongag-ami who died in difficulties finally comes to life again as a flower thanks to her husband and son who buried her body in a flower garden.

In the performance of “Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More” is a story about “Women” and “Revivification”. In this story, we have “Seoryoen” who keeps her belief and love in the difficulties like Mrs. Domi and Wongang-Ami.

Seoryeon is the best dancer in the court and Dodam, the best worrier in the court is her lover. However, the king is lust for Seoryeon because of her beauty. Seonryeon refuse king’s propose and finally she is jailed in a prison. Dodam fights with the king for his lovver and in this process, Seoryeon dies by King’s sword. And the shaman of the court perform the ritual for revivification of Seoryeon and finally she comes again to the life.

In this part, Mohwa, the shaman of the court, is very important. In the Joseon dynasty, Shaman is a priesthood but received double discrimination as a woman and as a shaman. However, in Korean traditional narrative shamanic myth, the shaman is heroic character who give the life to people. In the performance of “Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More”, Mohwa, the shaman give a life to Seoryeon with her strong energy.

In other words, through the two folk tales, this performance show the symbol of the women in difficulties and the vital power of women. ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More” retells the Korean traditional literary  ideology with the contemporary sense.

The performance shows not only the folk tales but also Korean traditional dances. The dances consist of ‘Parilmu’, a Confucian ritual dance and ‘Taepyeongmu’, a dance praying for the reign of peace and ‘Sward dance’. The dance completes the story.

Also, Seoryeon plays ‘Haegeum’ while her dance. Haegeum is one of the representative Korean instruments which has only two strings. One string is called ‘the string of laughing’ and the other is called ‘the string of crying’. Seoryeon expresses the two faces through her dance.


The scene of the revivification is the highlight of the performance. Mohwa get the audiences feel the catharsis with her dance and act. The exciting music and the unique beat of the Korean traditional percussion raise the immersion level of the audience.


The name of the protagonist ‘Seoryeon’ includes the meaning of ‘Lotus’. Lotus comes out in the muddy water but blossoms purely. In oriental culture, the people who keep one’s belief is metaphor-ed as ‘Lotus’. Also, ‘Lotus’ has symbol of the ‘revivification’ in oriental myths.  Therefore, it is possible to say that ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’ the vital power of women’ through Seoryeon and Mohwa.


Article from “All that Art”

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