Rhythms peculiar to Korean dance

(1) Peculiarity of Korean dance
(Photo Pyongyang Times)

Shortly ago, The Pyongyang Times reporter Ri Sung Ik interviewed Nam Su Hyang, researcher at the Korean dance institute of the Phibada Opera Troupe, and Kim Son Yong, researcher of the Academy of Social Sciences, about the flavour and characters peculiar to Korean dance.

Q: Korean dance with a time-honoured history has proper flavour peculiar to the nation, I think.

Nam: Korean dance, which appeared and developed in ancient times, originally assumed slow, gentle and lyric characters.

Afterwards, it was developed into a dance in which the whole body harmoniously moves while putting the main stress on the movement of arms by properly combining the movement of legs through the historical course of changes and consequently it came to have a variety of rhythmical characters.

Such arms' movements as shaking off, pushing and pulling, characteristic movements performed by stretching arms, and elastic footwork coupled with a series of bending and stretching are the rhythmical characters that can only be seen in Korean dance.

(2) Peculiarity of Korean dance
(Photo Pyongyang Times)

As the movement of upper and lower body is in good harmony with each other, Korean dance gives a moving impression through sustainable rhythmic breath even in the state of instantaneous standstill.

Korean dance is distinctive from the dances of other nations in terms of speed as it is not too fast nor slow, but gives soft feelings thanks to stable speed and gentle flow.

Kim: It is very hard to formulate the long-standing traditional dance into a framework due to the historical course of changes and the scope of activities. But our country brought out book "Basics of national dance" in 1957.

Q: Would you mind telling me the dance works typifying the Korean dance?

Nam: They include The Snow Is Falling, Bumper Harvest of Apple and Winnow Dance.

Foreign media devoted broad coverage, saying that "Korean dance is oriental, national and international as it suits the sentiment of the West” and “it is flawless".

Kim: Today, Korean dance is put on the stage in different forms, not only as individual dance works, but also as collective works including those in the Kim Il Sung Prize-winning grand mass gymnastics and artistic performance "Arirang".

(3) Peculiarity of Korean dance
(Photo Pyongyang Times)

(Pyongyang Times - November 20, 2020)

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