Folk Artists Honor Korean Heritage at Centrum

Music, Korean culture and dance spins horizontal to the floor – done while playing instruments – are on display at the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater, 7 p.m. Sunday, November 4, 2012. Admission is free; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Traditional Korean musical groups Kkocdooseh and the Korea Changgeuk Institute will join with solo musician Hyeon-hee Park in the evening performance. All nine performers are artists-in-residence at Centrum.

The performance features daeguem sanjo, gayagum sanjo and byungchang, and traditional Korean folk songs embodying the sorrows of the Korean people.

“Sanjo” literally means “ scattered melodies,” and is a style of traditional Korean music involving an instrumental solo accompanied by drumming.

The Korea Changgeuk Institute has performed at stages large and small in Korea, China, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Changgeuk is a form of musical drama that combines characterization, dance, and singing, and is known for its adaptation of traditional Japanese performance. The art form is therefore both ancient and modern; the first changgeuk was presented in honor of Emperor Gojong in 1902.

Kkocdooseh is a traditional Korean performing arts group, mixing dance with instrumental performance. Four different Korean traditional percussion instruments are to be featured: the kwenggwari (small gong), janggo ( hourglass drum), buk ( barrel drum) and jing ( large gong). Harmony between the dance and the songs are created through colorful rhythmic patterns and athletic footwork. The playing of instruments, together with the movement of hands and feet, are designed to create a triangular balance to reflect the Korean triangular landscape of mountain, field, and ocean.

Hyeon-hee Park has presented Korean traditional performances eight times in Japan, five times in China and twice in India. She has taught arts to Tibetan refugee students and was an exchange student at the Tokyo University of Arts this past year.