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UMS Concert Program, February 9, 1964: Sahmchunli Dancers And Musicians -- Alan C. Heyman

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Season: Eighty-fifth
Concert: Sixth
Complete Series: 3415
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1963 Eighty-fifth Season 1964
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
Sixth Program Chamber Arts Series Complete Series 3415
SahmChunLi Dancers and Musicians
"Dancers and Musicians of the Three-Thousand-League Land" Alan C. Heyman, Director
Featured Artists
mme so-hee kim mme so-gun pahk
mme yong-sook hahn miss yong-soon kim
miss sung-ja chi miss hahk kim
mr. tae-sup kim mr. hae-ryong bong mr. song-jin kim
mr. sa-sup chun mr. kwae-dong shin
mr. sa-jong chun mr. oh-tong chung mr. chun-heung kim
Sunday Evening, February 9, 1964, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM NONG-AK (The Farmers Festival Dances, Music and Songs)
Dance and music are, of course, the oldest arts. And magic ritual is the beginning of both--in Korea as elsewhere. This folk-festival is the oldest survival of these magic arts in Korea. Definitely traced to 1286 B.C., the time of the Three Han Tribes, it may be still older, belonging to that time when Tan'gun, a spirit-king, came to rule and the wanderers made settlements and began to grow grain for food. But it is also con?temporary.
Four times a year, led by a shaman-priest, the festival is held to win the blessing of the old gods, who control seasons and the fertility of the land. (And to drive away evil spirits who destroy the work of man!)
Traditionally, the leader was improvising musician, choreographer--and sorcerer. (Stamping on the ground makes roots grow deeper and tall leaps make tall things grow taller!) It is magic ritual. But it is also a festival for the village. It has its own special "rural band," with instruments surviving from the original noisemakers to drive away imps and demons and others borrowed from the military band, which was still playing on the battlefields of the recent Korean war.
Sang-soe (The Shaman imitates the sacred crane).....Sa-Jonc Chun
Sang-wu (Clowning with the military hat)......Oh-Tonc Chung
Nongbu-ga (Rice planting song)......So-Hee Kim and Ensemble
Changgo-mu (Drum Dance) ..........Sa-Sup Chun
Yul-tool-bahl (More clowning with the military hat) . . . On-ToNC Chung Pori-Tajak-Norae (Barley Threshing Song).....Entire Ensemble
TAEGEUM SOLO.........Song-Jin Kim
The Tacgeum is a horizontal flute, the largest of the "Three Bamboos" of the Silla kingdom (57 B.C. 935 A.D.). It is the instrument to which all others are tuned in the Korean orchestra. Legend says that, when it was played, "all the waves of the sea became calm."
CHOON-AENG-JUN-MU (The Nightingale
Sings in the Springtime)......Yong-Soon Kim
A court dance in the high style of the Golden Age. In sharp contrast to the wild gaiety or satire of folk-dances, this represents the highest ideal of beauty in courts where kings and nobles were, themselves, trained in the arts, an ideal of restrained elegance and inner beauty so deep as to be spiritual.
It begins with Changsa (a lyric in the Chinese manner, honoring the King). The yellow robe, the Ang-San, symbolizes the nightingale and the head-dress with its glittering, trembling ornaments is the "Flower Crown" of the Kisaeng, that unique group, peculiar to Korea, of highly cultivated young women, trained in music, dance and the arts but also given a superior education as companions of the court.
The dance, itself, is credited to an Eighteenth Century prince of the Yi Dynasty, Crown Prince Hyomyong, posthumously titled King Ikjong, the greatest dance-composer Korea ever had. He choreographed, or revised, all of the major court dances. This may be one of his revisions for there is also a story of the T'ang Emperor, Kao-tsung, who was enchanted by the song of nightingales and ordered his court musician to compose a song "after the tune of birds," bearing exactly this title. And, in both China and Korea, superior music often called for the creation of a dance.
BUDDHIST LANTERN FESTIVAL (Celebrating the eve of the birth?day of Lord Buddha.)
The processional starts with devotees, bearing lanterns, and the prescribed orchestra for such religious ceremonies, the Koo-Kun-Ak ensemble of five men clothed in yellow playing very special instruments. There follow purely devotional dances and music, originating in the temple. But the suite traces the full cycle of the Buddhist influence on dance and music and ends with a later folk-dance, derived from the temple drum dance, but now satirizing the decadence of the monks by dramatic reference to an old story.
Pub-Ko-Choom (Drum Dance of the Temple) .... Yonc-Sook Hahn A purely devotional drum-dance as it would be performed by a Buddhist Monk.
Nabi-Choom (Dance of the Butterflies) .... So-Hee Kim, So-Gun Pahk The Butterfly, which offers its brief life as a gift of beauty, is a profound and favored symbol in Buddhism from Ceylon throughout Asia.
Para-Mu (Dance of the Cymbals) . . . Chun-Heung Kim, Oh-Tong Chung Devotion may also be shown by this dance requiring almost superhuman control.
Seung-Mu (Drum Dance of the People)......Yong-Sook Hahn
This folk dance recalls the legend of an impious parody on the Temple Drum Dance by the famous Kisaeng of the 16th Century, Chin-i Hwang, who violated the high standards of her elite group and became a courtesan and one who delighted in breaking the will of men dedicated to a monk's life. She journeyed far to the monastery, where lived the exemplary monk, Chi-Jok-Sun-Ja. Mocking his devotion to his vows, she impudently imitated the true Monk's Dance, then turned it into a wildly syncopated revel, using all her wiles--and the considerable art of the Kisaeng--to lure the monk
away from his contemplation of eternal things. For a very long time, he resisted. The enraptured monk, however, who had "shone like a great star in the sky," finally yielded--and fell. Of course, there followed the laughter and taunts of the people--and a satiric folk-dance.
PAN-SORI (Operatic Narrative)......So-Hee Kim
Korea's form of opera comes out of the songs of the people--not true folk-songs, but street ballads of mountebanks, the Kwangdae.
In the last century--around 1886 and when he was 50--a great court-musician, Jae-hyo Shin, left Seoul to escape the restrictions of court music (and also political oppression). In his retreat, in North Cholla Province, he created what was called, "Kwangdae Shijo," or Songs of the Mountebanks, now transformed into epic ballad-cycles.
Once elevated to an art-form, this narrative song was taken over by the aristocracy and performance was restricted to the court or noble houses. But, near the end of the Yi Dynasty (which continued to 1910), a public theater was established in Seoul by the king--and pan-sori was given back to the people. But, by now, it was part of an operatic form, Chang-guk.
SAL-PU-RI (Dance to Drive out the Devil) . . . So-Gun Pahk
The name, "sal-pu-ri," means literally to "exorcise the devil." In spite of the coming of Buddhism and Confucianism, the old imps, evil spirits, demons, and animal-ghosts of Taoism remained to bedevil human beings, from the lowliest peasant to scholarly judges, ministers and kings.
This very ancient dance is unique and characteristic of the best of Korean art in its purity. With the simplest of means--a simple gown and scarf and a small drum-it has power to charm--even the devil.
KUM-MU (The Sword Dance) . . Hahk Kim, Yong-Soon Kim
Yong-Sook Hahn, Sung-Ja Chi
This is a court-dance, but it is also danced by the people outside the court. It honors a legendary boy-hero of the period of the Three Kingdoms, when Silla was at war with Paekche. A boy of thirteen named Hwang-Chan, learned that the enemy-king was planning to invade Silla. Pretending to be a wandering mountebank, he made his way into the enemy capitol and performed an impromptu sword dance in the streets. He was acclaimed by the people and invited to the palace to perform for the court. At the climax of the dance, he plunged his sword into the King's heart. Of course, he was executed but he had saved his people. Ever after, the grateful court--and the grateful people--danced for the peace of his soul and to commemorate his valor.
(Improvisation and self-accompanied song) . Kwae-Dong Shin
The six-stringed zither, according to ancient annals, was adapted by a famous prime minister of the Koguryo Kingdom from the keum of seven strings, sent to Korea by the Emperor of China. It is called the "Black Crane Zither" because the prime minister was also a famous musician and when he was playing the instrument, com?posing one of his "hundred songs," a black crane flew into the room and began to dance. The Sanjo is a folk-music form and is pure improvisation. The Pyungchang is self-accompanied song and the song chosen may be of any sort. Both depend on the creativity of the composer-performer.
CHUHYONG-MU (Dance of the Son of the
Dragon of the Eastern Sea) . . . So-Gun Pahk, So-Hee Kim,
Yong-Soon Kim, Yong-Sook Hahn, Hae-Ryong Bong
This mask-dance will turn away plague and pestilence. And that is not only because five is a mystical number and it is danced by five dancers, dressed in the Five Colors and representing the Five Directions--North, South, East, West and the Center of the Universe. It is also because Chuhyong, The Son of the Dragon of the Eastern Sea who came to live in the court of the Silla Kingdom, turned away the God of Pestilence from his house--not in anger, but by making a humorous song. The God promised never to return if Chuhyong would put a mask of his own face at the gate. And every dancer wears a mask that is a portrait of Chuhyong. This was a court-dance from earliest times but was sometimes danced at the city-gates to protect visiting envoys.
The story runs this way: When the 49th king of Silla stopped by the sea with his court, a thick fog enveloped the land. His astrologer advised the king to perform a pious act as the storm was clearly the work of the Dragon of the Eastern Sea. The king ordered a temple to be built on the spot and immediately the sky cleared and the Dragon appeared with all of his seven sons, praising the king, Hunkang, in song and dance. The king took Chuhyong into his court, promising him high position and a beautiful bride. All of this came to pass and Chuhyong lived happily at court until he came home from a journey to find the God of Pestilence in his house, wooing his bride. But his triumph made him a symbol and his face a talisman, ever after.
Old as the legend is, there is evidence that the dance comes out of a still older "Dance of the Five Directions."
MUDANG CHOOM (The Sorceress Dance) . . . Sung-ja Chi
A folk-version of the sorceress dance in the Shaman ritual, which has survived in Korea from prehistoric times. The vigorous jumping movements aid the medium in invoking the spirit. The large fan once had symbolic meaning, it is believed. But now it is held out to collect money from the spectators and the presence of a few coins on that fan can do much to bring about a quick appearance of the spirit. A good Sorceress evokes an atmosphere of charm--and mysticism. And spirits respond to both.
KO-KO-MU (The Nine Drums Dance) . . . Yong-Soon Kim
Nobody knows when this dance originated. It is believed to come from the Drum Dance of the temple. But it is a favorite folk-dance and shows the Korean love of
FIRST ALL-STAR COMPANY FROM KOREA -ON FIRST TOUR ANYWHERE Organized and Presented on Tour by The Asia Society Performing Arts Program
(With Special Assistance from the American-Korean Foundaliott)
PLEASE NOTE.--A special lecture-demonstration by the Sahm-Chun-Li Dancers and Musicians, will be given under the direction of Mr. Alan C. Heyman, tomorrow evening at 8:30 (Monday, February 10), through the courtesy of the Asia Society for Performing Arts.
Rackham Auditorium -No admission charge.

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