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[Tour Guide] (Half-day tour) Koreas traditional music and dance Heritage of Korea

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Date : 13.04.08
korean traditional music and dance " heritage of korea" for foreign tourists is held at busan national gugak center. it takes more than a local attention to preserve intangible cultural heritage. i would like to invite you to an opportunity to take an interest in korea's intangible cultural heritage and to take home a special memory of busan.


many foreigners visited busan national gugak center to watch standing performance "heritage of korea". it showed korea's 6 intangible cultural heritage of humanity designated by unesco.

the first performance was joggmyojereyak, royal ancestral rites music which was showed in busan for the first time in apec summit in 2005. jjoggmyojereyak is general terms for song, dance and instrumental music that show a memorial service for kings of many generations and queen concerts.

this music is divided into botaepyeong and jeongdaeeop, which were composed for court banquets in the time of king sejong.
it is not only very glamorous and deep but also tender and mild. when the royal ancestral rites music is played, all the audiences are immersed in tune of the korean traditional instruments.

cheoyong dance is a male dance which originated in the 7th century during the silla dynasty. the dancers appeared wearing blue, white, red, black, yellow costumes symbolizing five ways. and also they wore the mask of cheoyong, a legendary prince from the undersea kingdom who drove away an evil spirit having an affair with his wife by this dancing. when they danced wearing the weird mask, evil spirits run away. on the other hand, i could feel the sense of humor and a caring mind of ancestors with it.

the next thing was pansori. pansori is a compounded musical works with narrative song, storytelling and body movement. it was performed by one singer who sings chang(long vocal), aniri(dex-x-scriptive speech) and balim(motions) in the rhythm of the drum played by the gosu(drummer).
when singers sang chunhyangga, they acted as if they are dolls living and moving in a glassed case. whenever man singer opened fan, i could feel charm of ancestors.

and then i listened to gagok. gagok is a type of long lyric song cycle sung by professional vocalist with chamber ensemble accompaniment enjoyed by korean scholars in their private salons or club during the joseon dynasty. and korea's representative song, arirang was performed by only traditional musical instruments. "a ri rang, a ri rang, a ra ri yo" each arirang's tune, rhythm and feeling is different in different locality. but i constantly feel my heart is full filled with pride anywhere whenever i hear it.

the last performance was ganggang sullae. ganggang sullae is a local dance, mainly passed down from the coastal region of the south, which is enjoyed by women under the moonlight while singing "ganggang sullae" around the time of the great harvest or chuseok in the 8th month of the lunar calendar. the origin of the dance goes back to the imjin weran(japanese invasions of korea during 1592-1598) yi sun-sin, korea's naval commander, had asked the village women near his camp to dance around a bonfire singing 'ganggang sullae' to give the illusion that his men outnumbered the enemies. with this dance, excited audiences clapped their hands loudly.

the busan national gugak center was filled with people from japan, germany and other countries. i watched this performance with three japanese women who had came here two years ago. they said "i am really excited to see korea's traditional dance."

after performance, there was photo zone in the front hall where foreigners could take pictures with dancers. and staff offered korea's traditional tea; green tea, buckwheat tea and some snacks for having a test for fun of it.

this show is absolutely great content for foreigners to experience korea culture.
and it will be an important opportunity for even koreans to learn about the place of origin of korean music or all kinds of dance we have.

it plans to perform a play until october. i expect this fabulous show to continue sustainably to enhance the nation's position with the goal of "to the world, to korea" even after finished.
it is available from 8th in march to 25th in october every friday at 7:30 pm. in busan national gugak center. the "heritage of korea" costs 20,000won for every seats. and don't forget to check discounts.
◆ busan national gugak center
-tel: 051) 811-0114
-address: 2 gugak-ro, busanjin-gu, busan metropolitan city, korea 614-861
-transportation: get off at seomyeon station on line 1, exit no. 13, take bus no. 63 or 83-1 at bujeon market entrance bus stop, get off at the bng center bus stop