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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/

B cuts photos from rehearsal room of Musical “Pann: The Stage”

Can you imagine how the actors life just before the performance?
Here below B cuts photos from rehearsal room of Musical “Pann: The Stage”.

Jicheol Kim! The charming actor who acts the role of Dalsu!
In this photo, the actors wear the same T-shirt which is offered by fan club of Jicheol Kim.
The T-shirt of “Pann” supported by Jicheol’s fan made another great scene in the rehearsal room.

Juhye You, the actress who acts the role of I-deok lay down on the floor looking at the ceiling.

Following her gaze, let’s imagine what she is thinking about?
Thinking about Hotae who is the best storyteller?
Thinking about Dalsu, the brand new storyteller?

Or she is thinking now about the world of her novel.

This is Sora Im, the actress who acts the role of Boon-i!

This is “X” mark for Dalsu to give him a cool-headed assessment.

Jihoon Kim, the actor who acts the role of Hotae, the best storyteller of Joseon era now checking messages on his smart phone.

While we talk now through phones in this era,
many people was laughing and crying thought the story which is talked by Jeongi-su in Joseon ear.

To check more B cuts photos, please visit Jeongdong Theater’s Instagram!
INSTAGRAM / @JEONGDONGTHEATER

The love between a court dance and an warrior could be safe in Joseon court?

In early morning,

Mohwa, a shaman of court set the altar at the garden of the palace.

Praying for the stability and the good harvest,
She starts a ritual.

The company of the kind and the queen appears on the stage.

Dancers present ‘Parilmu’, one of the ritual dance
and the festival begins.​​

​​

▲ Parilmu_Korean traditional ritual dance

Praying for the reign of peace, queen dances ‘Taepyeongmu”.

▲ Taepyeongmu_Dance for “Reign of peace”

Answering the queen’s dance, court dancers present “Sonbuk-chum”(a handy percussion dance)

and warriors present a sward dance.​

▲ Sonbuk-chum_a handy percussion dance

▲ Sword dance(Gum-mu)

​​

The best dancer in the court is Seoryeon.

And the best warrior is Dodam.

They lead the ceremony in the center of the stage.​​

and..

As Seoryeon starts dance playing Haeguem,
the king fascinated by Seoryon.

▲ The best dancer, Seoryeon, in her Haegeum dance.

​In addition,

the king reveals his greedy toward Seoryeon dancing with her.

Therefore, the queen leaves the place with a big jealous.

The queen couldn’t bear the jealous.

Finally, she drives Seoryeon of the palace.

In a forest,

​Dodam recalls Seoryeon’s face seeing Lotus while his training in the forest.

He has loved Soryeon since he was young.

However, he is now very mixed up as he saw the king’s greedy and the queen’s jealous toward Seoryeon.​​

After the training is finished and his company leave,
he hears a little sound of Haeguem from some where.​

Dodam realizes that it is Seoryeon’s music and he starts to find her in the forest.

And finally the two face to each other.

Soryeon who played Haeguem in her sorrow, set her heart at ease due to Dodam
and they confirm their love.

Seoryeon presents her love playing Haeguem
and Dodam answers the love playing Daeguem.

The love song fills in the forest.​

“A Love Song”

In a warm spring day

We brighten each other up

like a sunshine

 

The touched hands

The connected eyes

Full of Romance

 

Love made in heaven

My love at first sight

All around world is charming and beautiful

 

It is joyful

The sound flew by a breeze

 

Oh, sad

Because of the time which flies like a cloud

 

 

Don’t worry

Don’t be sad

The destiny is always with you

It is joyful

The sound flew by a breeze

Oh, sad

Because of the time which flies like a cloud

Don’t worry

Don’t be sad

The destiny protects them

Oh, Destiny

After confirming their love, Dodam and Seoryeong kiss under the moonshine.

At that time,

in other part of the forest, King is hunting.

Seoryeon and Dodam walk through the forest and across King’s path.

King is upset because he see Seoryeon and Dodam is together
and the king approach to Seoryeon but Dodam stop him.

The King is angry because of Dodam
and he aim arrow toward Dodam.

Dodam falls down from the attack of King’s soldier.

King and his company go back to the palace hauling Seoryeon.

After Seoryeon has been hauled to the palace,
she swallows down lots of insult.

However she overcomes the fear and keeps her heart toward her lover.

Therefore, King prisons Seoryeon in a jail.

Seoryeon misses her lover in the jail.

Dodam steals into the palace with her army.

Finally, the battle of the king and Dodam starts.

King takes up a swords and starts the battle.​

Seoryeon defended her lover throwing her body to the sword of the king
and she meets her death instead of her lover, Dodam.

Dodam sobs facing the death of his lover.​

The court shaman, Mohwa appears with ritual dance.

Seoryeon is laid on Mohwa’s altar.

Mohwa and her company starts the ritual of revivification.

Group dance praying for the life starts and everyone’s wish for the life leads the dance.

The ritual becomes more and more strong.

At a moment,

Mohwa’s dance stops and silence comes.

In a short silence..

Seoryeon will revive answering everyone’s wish?


In palace of Joseon,
The love of Seoryeon and Dodam is not allowed from the king.

Does their love work out?​

http://blog.naver.com/jeongdongtheater/221020316820

2017 Jeongdong Theater Tradition Serise

<Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>

​Period : April. 6th – October 29th

Time & Day : Tue-Sun 4 pm / 8 pm (No performance on Mondays)

Venue : Jeongdong Theater

​Ticket : VIP 60,000 KRW / R 50,000 KRW / S 30,000 KRW

Inquiry : 02-751-1500

Reservation link :

http://ticket.interpark.com/Ticket/Goods/GoodsInfo.asp?GoodsCode=17003071

[Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More] Two folktales in the performance.

[Jeongdong Press : <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>_’The tale of Mrs Domi’ and  ‘Igongbonpuri’]

<Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>

Where you can meet the essence of Korean Dance.

Jeongdong Theater, which is located in Jeongdong-gil; the beautiful street in flower-blooming pring,

has a meaning of succession of ‘Wongaksa’, the first modern theater in Korea.

Jeongdong has presented performances which retells Korean folktales
and has help the audiences to understand it with qualified stage.

Especially, <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More>, which has its premier on last April. 6,
is a well-made Korean traditional dance drama on which Korean folktales and traditional dance are combined.

 ​ 

This performance sends us a message about the true love,
combining Korean folktales and newly recreating them as a Korean traditional dance drama.

At the first, ‘The tale of Mrs Domi’ is a folktale of the period of three states in Korea.

The king of Baekje has Mrs Domi, a humble woman, in his mind and he put her in danger to make her parting with her husband.

However, with her wise courage, she overcomes from the trick of the king confirming the love with her husband.

Igongbonpuri, another folktale in the performance, is a narrative shamanic myth in Jeju.

The story is about a woman called Wongangam who died after her slave life in difficulties.

She finally comes to life again as a flower called Wongangami
thanks to her husband and son who buried her body in a flower garden.

These two stories were combined and the performance <Lotus, A Flower Comes Out Once More> came out.

This story which came from the two folktales contains the theme of ‘overcoming’ and ‘reviving’
which feature frequently in Korean traditional ideology
so the meanings are coming heavily to the audiences who live in modern society.

The image of strong woman from Mrs Domi and Wongangami is described
into Seoryeon’s character, the protagonist of the performance.

In the background of imaginary Joseon Dynasty, this performance presents
the image of wise and strong woman who keeps her ideals in the difficulties
and the path of achieving her wishes from her revive
into traditional dance drama.

The lyrics from <A song of floral tribute> and <A love song> cite words from folktales which are very familiar to Korean people
and it raises bond of sympathy.

Also, you can see various Korean traditional dance
such as
parilmu, a dance performed by 64 female dancers in ritual ceremony,

Taepyeongmu, a dance praying for the peaceful reign and prosperity of the royal family,

Geommu, a traditional sword dance which became powerful in the performance as man’s dance.

I would love to strongly recommend this performance
to whom love Korean traditional dance and look forward beautiful dance performance!