Review: Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

I love Korean traditional performances, especially those involving dance as I have a soft spot in my heart for dance of all kinds. So I always jump at the chance to see or cover any event that might showcase Korean traditional dance. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard that Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance were coming to Toronto. Not just dance but ‘legends of Korean dance’ – I was in heaven.

Now I’ll be the first person to tell you that I know very little about the performers but I have seen many other similar ones so I knew what to expect. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was a beautiful evening of culture.

I would also like to thank the lovely ladies who were kind enough to share some information about the performers and the performance with me. My Korean was good enough to follow along a little but I appreciate their helpfulness and kindness for making sure I could understand.

More than anything, I want to encourage all of you to get out there and check out cultural experiences like Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance. If you like K-pop or Korean food, why not give another aspect of Korean culture a try. And especially if you like Korean dramas or films – I know you’ve seen a historical drama or film, you can’t watch either without watching some historical ones. So check out some Korean traditional performances – either here or in Korea. You won’t be disappointed.

Want to know what you missed?

*All descriptions are courtesy of the press information

Kyobang Dance by Kyungrang Park

‘Kyobang Dance’ originated from a dance performed by hostesses in Kyobang which is the training school for hostesses in the time of the Korea Dynasty. Kyungrang Park, born in 1960, dances with bare hand in the section of Gootjueri rhythm and uses a traditional fans in the section of Jajinmori rhythm. In 1992, she was given great numbers of well-known national awards and finally was presented the Presidential award in 1997 in the Competition of Seoul Traditional Performing Arts.

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

The Drum Dance from Miryang by Yong Bu Ha

The traditional regional drum dance originated in Miryang, Korea. Yongbu Ha, born in 1955, inherited the dance from his grandfather, great master Bokyung Ha. In 2002, he was designated as a human cultural asset of the nation.

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

Dosalpuri Dance by Junghee Lee

Dosalpuri Dance originated from the rhythm of Dosalpuri which is introduced in exorcism of the villages in Kyunggi-province. The official name of the dance is called Salpuri assigned as an important intangible cultural asset by the nation. However, the length of the handkerchief used is twice longer than the one used in Salpuri Dance. Junghee Lee, born in 1958, became the leader of ‘Maehun Dance Preservation Association’ after the death of master Sookja Kim.

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

Chaesang-sogo Dance by Wontae Kim

Sogo Dance has been developed because a Sogo, small hand drum, is light and suitable to dance in hand with. Among Sogo Dances, a special Chaesang-sogo Dance requires many virtuosic movements with a long white tail attached on the top of the hat. Especially, the flying overturns in the air with keeping horizontal body shape is the highest reach of techniques. Wontae Kim, born in 1963, organized the Noreum-machi Samulnori Group and his Chaesang-sogo dance is known as one of the most unique dance performances of the time.

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance

Jang Saik and Soripan

The Korean old popular songs like ‘The Spring is Gone’, ‘Daejun Blues’, ‘Young Lady of Dongbaek’ and more will be presented. The new direction of music by Jang Saik pursue the combinations of the traditional and modern textures with his powerful and spiritual voice that refreshes the meanings of the life and death. Jang Saik, along with the music of great performers under Jae Chung, the director of music, will create spontaneous interactions and musical impressions to thrill you.

Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance
Jang Saik and the Legends of Korean Dance – saying goodbye

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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