School renowned for peasant dance

Date: 12/05/2019 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

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The school gave peasant dance performances on hundreds of occasions over the past 20 years, including those for foreign guests. Young dancers of the school also participated in grand mass gymnastics and artistic performances Arirang and The Glorious Country, widely known as the acme of the arts.

Juvenile peasant dance is a work that represents peasant dance, which reflects the labour of Korean farmers, appealing mood of the countryside and gratifying bumper harvest, by dint of lively and lovely rhythms and skills of children. It may be something unexpected that such dance has been practised for decades in a Pyongyang school.

The school launched the dance in 1999.

Originally, its forte was boys’ group dance composed of energetic movements, but it turned to the folk dance in line with the trend of actively carrying on and developing national cultural heritage. At the time the dance teacher of the school, Ri Son Ok, was in her early 40s and she had received professional dance education.

“We started folk dance, not that we knew about it well. We buckled down to teaching the dance with the resolve to make it a process of implanting in the minds of students the fine qualities of our nation and a patriotic outlook on life,” recalled Ri.

The peasant dance piece of the school is the “Dance turning round decorative tassels on cap” performed by 20 children.

In the work various traditional rhythmic movements of peasant dance are represented artistically and in an amusing way in keeping with the modern sense of beauty. They include such movements made in the process of labour as reaping rice crop, tapping the back and wiping sweat, such entertaining movements as turning round the upper body, bending the legs and shaking the shoulders alternately, and the hopping walk, a kind of stepping technique peculiar to Korean dance. Special applause winners are the turning round of three-fathom-long decorative tassels on cap which is performed swiftly as well as that of 12- and 25-fathom-long decorative tassels on cap which is difficult even for adults to perform.

This dance was staged at the school on every folk holiday and later at district, city and national art performances of schoolchildren and at such national and international events as the April Spring Friendship Art Festival.

In the course of this, the juvenile peasant dance of the school was put on the list of national intangible cultural heritage.

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