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The Palace: Tale of Jang Nok-Su, Learning Korean Traditional Dance Pt 1

Hello, this is Jeongdong Theater. It is Autumn in Korea and watching the seasons change slowly and the trees change colors seems to fill the heart with joy. But if you add culture and dance to this rich emotion, will the rest of October not be a little happier?

Jeongdong Theater, located on Jeongdong-gil, filled with ambiance and romance, is a traditional performing art and performance center representing Korea. We present high-quality performances that reinterpret our traditional culture and art.

In particular, Jeongdong Theater’s permanent performance is a creative dance-drama that shows the story of Jang Nok-Soo, who lived a dramatic life from an innocent, tomboy-like slave, to one of the best dancers and singer of her time, to becoming a woman of the royal power, this show unfolds her life as an art piece.

According to Nok-su’s identity, Korean people’s culture, giseng culture, and palace culture are shown through the play and dance. In particular, The Palace: Tale of Jang Nok Su is a performance that pays attention to Jang Nok Su as an outstanding artist.

So be prepared!

We have divided this series into two. Today, let’s take a look at the dances that Nok-su performed in her early days.

Janggo Dance

Nok-su became a courtesan after her skills and talents were recognized by Je-an Daegun . Devoted to a full-fledged giseng training, she dances with her Janggu strapped on her shoulders. Janggu Dance is also called Janggo-mo or Janggo Dance.

Janggu dance is divided according to whether it is mainly dancing or playing the drum. Janggu dances performed in Gibangs are dances, and Janggu dances in Pungmulnori are mainly playing the drums.

Of course, the courtesan Nok-su was dance-oriented. Thus, this is a Janggu dance show with fun and flirty behavior. It is not known when the instrument called Janggu was incorporated into this particular dance. However, it is said that the style of hanging the rope at an angle with a string attached to the Janggu and tapping the Janggu was mainly performed by the private artists of the Joseon Dynasty.

Hanryang Dance

Under the teachings of Je-an Daegun, Noksu blossoms artistically and becomes the best courtesan of Joseon. And Nok-su as an entertainer was to entice the men.

Hanyang Dance is a dance that expresses elegance and excitement. In this scene, Nok-su dances with a fan. However, the dance form is not constant and there are no rules. The dancer can freely improvise according to the situation. However, in this situation, she was dancing for the scholars(Seonbi) so Seonbi’s elegance was infused with the dance. In particular, the figure of a crane symbolizing scholars is shaped and danced.

Kyobang Salpuri Dance

Kyobang is an institution that presided over teaching gisengs dances and songs around the Joseon Dynasty. There are various types of dance like sword dances, bridge dances, etc

The dances featured in are Salpuri dance and Fan dance. First of all, the Salpuri dance is a word from shamanism that means to loosen the flesh. Therefore, it can be called ‘dance to lose weight’. Originally, it started as a shamanic dance with a strong ritual attached to it, but it was later reestablished as an art. Flirting is required in this dance so it’s famous among the gisengs and it’s also a very delicate dance.

For more check out the video
https://youtu.be/4yprzvwhva8

Fan dance

The fan dance is probably the most famous traditional dance. In fact, the fan dance is not a traditional dance of Korea. This dance was created by dancer Kim Baek-bong in 1954.

Of course, there are many dances with fans in the national dances of the world, including shaman dances. But most of those dances are not fan centered. However, Nok-su’s fan dance shows the best technique to open, fold, wind, and spread.

This technique-oriented fan dance was first presented at the Kimbaekbong Dance Presentation at the Seoul Construction Center on November 1954.

Then in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, the fan dance was reconstructed and developed into a group of dances. The Korean Folk Arts Group played a fan dance at the World Excellent Art Festival and World Folklore Festival held together with the Olympics. Since then, fan dance has become one of the most representative dances in the world.

For more check out the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6Jck510Lw

This concludes the first series, in the next part, we would continue with Nok-su’s dancing in the palace.

To be continued…..

Explore Jeongdong-gil: Donuimun Museum

Fall is coming and we are bracing for the cold here in Jeongdong Theater. However, there are still many places around the theater to be explored.

Introducing the Donuimun Museum Village near Jeongdong Theater.


Donuimun Museum Village is a museum in the form of a village. It is located in a retro area that preserved old buildings and old alleys such as Hanok, flowering houses, Japanese houses in the Joseon Dynasty, slabs and French houses from the 1970s and 1980s, as an urban regeneration project. After looking round the village, we recommend our performance of <The Palace: The Tale of Jang Nok-su>.

<The Palace: The Tale of Jang Nok-su> is a creative dance drama that shows the story of Jang Nok-su who lived a dramatic life as a slave, courtesan, and concubine through traditional dance. The story of Jang Nok-su shows the different stages of her life as a innocent and tomboy-like slave, as a protagonist who dance and voiced ranked her as a top artist of her time, and finally as Je-an Degun’s woman in the royal court.

‘100-year Modern Modern Archives of Memory’

Donuimun is the old name of Seodaemun. Seodaemun, which means the western big gate of Hanyang Doseong, the Seoul’s four major gates along the Seoul Wall Fortress. Donuimun Gate, first constructed in 1396, was rebuilt in 1413 at Jeongdong Crossroads. Since then, the gate has been called “Saemun” (新聞), which means “new door,” and the area inside Don’s Gate was called “Saemunangol” or “Sammunan neighborhood.”

Saemunan was a crowded area of ​​private tutoring, a symbol of private education, from the 1960s to the 1970s. Since the 80’s, it has been a rumored food alley. However, as the New Town development project began in the 2000s, Seoul remodeled the village and buildings of Saemunan Village and donated it to the Donuimun Museum Village. 40 of 63 existing homes were maintained and repaired, and some houses were left behind, creating a courtyard for the village community, and the old alleys were kept intact. Although it was opened in 2017, the Donuimun Museum Village was newly renovated in April of this year, with the concept of ‘100-year modern and archive of memory.’

The village consists of three major themes: village exhibition hall (16 dong), experiential education hall (9 dong), and village creation center (9 dong).

At the village center in the center of the village, concerts are held every day at 12:10 noon (1pm on weekends). There are also cultural events that citizens suggest and conduct on their own.
First of all, the Village Exhibition Hall is an annex to the Seoul Museum of History, where you can feel and experience the history of the old Saemunan neighborhood and the sensitivity of the 60~80s analog generation. In the Donuimun Exhibition Hall, you can check the history and culture of the Donuimun era, the urban regeneration and life records of Saemunan neighborhood. There is also the “Donguimungu-guru,” which recreates the social space of the former blooming members, and the “Independence activist’s house”, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Provisional Government and the Republic of Korea.
If you go to the side alley, you will be able to travel back in time from the 1960s to the 80s. The Living History Exhibition Hall recreated the homes of the 1960s and 1980s, including a kitchen with a hut, a room with mother-of-pearl, and a study room with a uniform. You can enjoy pastime games such as “ Tsamori Yongwon, ” a modern barber shop, “ Seodaemun photo studio ” with the concept of a modern social center and a wedding hall in the 1980s, “ Saemunan Theatre ”, a Tetris, and a street fighter that recreate the old movie theater. You can feel the retro sensibility in ‘Donuimun Computer Game Center and Manga Room’.

At the Seoul Future Heritage Hall, you can see 10 future heritage sites in Jongno and Euljiro along the tram lines of Seoul in the 1930s. Hanoks on one side of the village courtyard allow you to experience Hanji crafts, calligraphy, fashion, and embroidery, and many more. However, you must first make a reservation on the homepage for these experiences. In the ‘Myeongin Gallery’, there is a permanent exhibition where you can enjoy the works of masters in the experience education center.

There is also a civic gallery and artist gallery. Here, a collection of collections gathered by citizen collectors and works by artists and curators appropriate for the village are displayed. The Village Creation Center, located throughout the village, also hosts exhibitions and workshops for tenant artists that fit the concept of the village. New exhibitions are also held every month in the artist gallery. Currently, the main exhibition “City Exhibition” of the “2019 Seoul Urban Biennale” will be held in the Donuimun Museum Village until November 10th.

■ Donuimun Museum Village
Address: 14-3 Songwol-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Open: 10: 00 ~ 19: 00, closed every Monday
Admission Fee: Free
Homepage: http://dmvillage.info/

Healing Project for the salary men! “Art Garden in Luch Time”

 

Healing Project for the Salary Men!

Art Garden in Lunch Time

Every Fridays of September and October,
It starts at 12.20 pm!



Now is September. The autumn has begun.

‘Jeongdong-gil’ is so-called as ‘The street of the autumn”
and the atmosphere of autumn leads people’s step to here.

The yellow Ginkgo tree adds the picturesque beauty of the Jeongdong-gil.

It is definitely to say: “Jeongdong-gil” is the Best.1 of Pedestrian-Friendly Street in Seoul.​

▲The Autumn Sky at the Former Russian Legation.

In this autumn period,
we easily would like to move the steps to other place, to listen to the beautiful music
and to spend the time in the nature.

▲Jeongdong-gil in Autumn

For the salary men in Gwangwhamu near by the Jeongdong-gil,

What time is their healing time?

The answer is “Lunch Time”!!!

“Art Garden in Lunch Time” of Jeongdong Theater comes again
and it will make the lunch time as a healing time!

Since 2017, this program has been held in Spring(April) and Summer(June).

The version of the autumn will be run on every Fridays from September to October!

▲The posters of Art Garden in Lunch Time (Versions of Spring/Summer/Autumn)

The Theme of this autumn version is “Young Artists in the Garden”.

The program of September is to  introduce indie-musicians
so  you can meet various genre of music like Rock-n-roll, Electronic, Blues and Pork pop.

The Program of October is to introduce young Gukak(Korean traditional music) musicians
who have played on the “Full Bloom of Youth” Stage.

This is for free!!!

I definitely recommend you to come to get some energy!

▲Art Garden in Lunch, Spring & Summer

Looking forward to meeting you soon!:)

▲Doldam-gil in Autumn

[Interview] Haneul Cho_ Main Dancer of ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’

[Interview : Haneul Cho_Main Dancer of ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More]

2017 Jeongdong Theater Tradition Series 

<Lotus, A Flower Come Out Once More>

Meeting with Haneul Cho, the Main Dancer !

 

It was last of March in the full of spring whether,
I visited in the rehearsal room of <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More> which will be opened soon at April. 6.

I saw actors who go at their rehearsal in details even if it was the lunch time.

I interviewed Haneul Cho who acts as ‘Seo-ryon’, the main character to know more about the performance!

Let’s meet her together!

Q: Please introduce your self and your character, ‘Seo-ryeon’
A: Hello
. My name is Haneul Cho and I act ‘Seo-ryeon’, the main character in the performane ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’. The name of ‘Seo-ryeon’ means ‘Water Lily which comes out at dawn, early in the morning’. She is the best dancer in the court who is good at play music and dance.

Q: What do you focus for describe the character ‘Seo-ryeon’?
A: In a scene where Seo-ryeon dances with Heaguem, a Korean traditional instrument, I’m doing my best to contain the emotion rather then just describe the playing of the instrument.

Q: Did you refer to any other character in Movie or Drama to describe ‘Seo-ryeon’? 
A: When you see the performance, you also will find that this performance is very resemble to <Romeo and Juliet> in the part of emotion. To describe the love, conflict and sorrow, I refer to the movie. Also, I refer to a Korean historical drama, <Dong-i> where the main character play Haegeum in her joy or sorrow.


Q: What is your specially difficult thing or joyful thing to act ‘Seo-ryeon’ relative to other role that you did?
A: I have played Haeguem in many times but I’ve never dance with it.

​It is very difficult to describe various emotions through the dance with the instrument
becuase I was experienced to describe the emotion only through my body.

However it became the most joyful and interest part as I’ve rehears it a lot.

Q: Performances of Jeongdong Theater mostly have a form of drama telling with Korean traditional dance.
As you are a dancer, what is the different thing compare with general dance performances?

A: The general dance performances only focus on the movement of dancer but in this performance, Chung-han Kim, the director, checked acting in very detail.

Also as Jeongdong theater has a stage which is very close to the audiences for comunication,
It is also different thing that it is easy to generously deliver the emotion and the atmosphere of the dram through the dance.

Q: Please introduce the highlight scene of <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>
A: In <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>,
the highlights is Korean traditional group dance such as sword dance, small drum dance and five drums dance
as well as the love story.

Also the haegeum play of Seo-ryeon and Daegeum play of Dodam also scenes that you should never miss.

Q: As before the opening on April.6,
Please give any recommendation to the audiences who will come to see the performance. 

A: The performance <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More> which will begin at the spring of April
will give you the smell of the spring and the romance like a cherry blossom.

We, all of the actors and the staffs, prepared this performance on our best. Please give more interest and love to it!

How was the interview?

Did you feel more about the performance and ‘Seo-ryeon’ through the interview?

Please give more interest to all about ‘Seo-ryeon’ on the real stage!

 

[Jeongdong Press] Rehearsal Sketch of Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More

[Jeongdong Press : Rehearsal Sketch of ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’ ]

2017 Jeongdong Theater Tradition Series

Rehearsal Sketch of ‘Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More’!

* Meeting ‘Lotus’ which comes out once more on Jeongdong-gil where flowers are in full bloom *

In April when flowers of spring are full bloom in Jeongdong Theater

A Korean traditional dance drama, Lotus A Flower Comes Out Once More, is on the stage.

I was so excited to meet the work of truly love flower in Jeongdong Theater
which is located in Jeongdong-gil, well-known as the back ground of ‘love song of Kwanghwamun’

I show you the rehearsal sketch where the theater team were preparing the premier of Aril.6 .

Lotus, A Flower Come Out Once More is a original theater play
which borrows the motive from two Korean folk tales
contaning the spirit and the ideology of Korea.

‘Seo-ryeon’, the best dancer of the court
and
‘Dodam’, the greatest general of the court

The dance and face of the two main characters present well the image of a man and woman in love.

Even if this is a non-verbal performance, the detail of dance describes well everything
so it is enjoyable to see it!​

The two tales which Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More borrowed are
‘The Tale of Mrs. Domi’ of ancient tale and ‘Igongbonpuri’, a shamanic myth.

From the tale of Mrs. Domi, the story of that a husband and a wife confirmed their love
from where a King who is a lady-killer lusts for the wife but the wife overcomes wisely borrowed.

And from ‘Igongbonpuri’ which is a shamanic tale in Jeju,

The story of that a dead wife is revived by a flower from ‘Seocheon’ is borrowed for the drama.

In this performance,

The King is captivated by Seo-ryon’s beauty that resembles a fragrant flower.
Realizing this, the queen burns with jealousy and throws Seo-ryon out of the palace.

Dodam and Seo-ryeon confirm their love for each other out of the palace.
However, the king’s solders combat ensues as Do-dam tries to stop them from taking her.

As Seo-ryon refuses to submit to the king’s orders of tending to him at night,
The King imprisons her.

From here, the remarkable activities of Dodam to save ‘Seo-ryeon’ starts.

Please look forward to it!​

It is a story tells about a woman who protects herself from power corrupts
and a miracle of reincarnation in adversity.

I thought that it is a story which makes the audiences think about the real love
which is missed in the contemporary era.

On the spring of 2017, Please don’t miss this performance!

More information about the performance on

http://www.jeongdong.or.kr/play/playInfo/view.do?seq=105