Dancing the Spirit: Korean Masked Dance Drama Examined

Danc­ing the Spir­it: Kore­an Masks, Music, and Social Con­cerns” is an exhi­bi­tion and a series of relat­ed events being pre­sent­ed by the The East-West Cen­ter Arts Pro­gram from Sep­tem­ber 30, 2012, to Jan­u­ary 6, 2013. The exhi­bi­tion and oth­er events all relate to aspects of the Kore­an mask dance dra­ma. All events are free and open to the public.

The exhi­bi­tion, in the East-West Cen­ter Gallery in John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, includes pho­tographs, masks, cos­tumes, musi­cal instru­ments, and oth­er arti­facts relat­ed to mask dance. The exhi­bi­tion open­ing on Sun­day, Sep­tem­ber 30, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., will include a recep­tion and a per­for­mance by Kathy Foley and Chan Park. They will per­form a unique fusion the­ater piece based on Kore­an pan­sori (sto­ry­telling with musi­cal accom­pa­ni­ment) and puppetry.

Sub­se­quent events will also take place in the gallery, which is open week­days from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and Sun­days from noon to 4:00 p.m., but closed on Sat­ur­days and hol­i­days. The sched­ule includes:

  • Sun­day, Octo­ber 7, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.: a pro­gram of Kore­an dance, fea­tur­ing Chan Park, Jin­do Island dances, and local dance per­form­ers from the Hal­la Huhm Stu­dio under the direc­tion of Mary Jo Freshley.
  • Sun­day, Octo­ber 14, at 2:00 p.m.: a pre­sen­ta­tion of Kore­an music, includ­ing miniper­for­mances by local­ly based musicians.
  • Sun­day, Octo­ber 21, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.: a screen­ing of The King and the Clown, a pop­u­lar Kore­an film about a fif­teenth-cen­tu­ry king who falls in love with a beau­ti­ful male clown/​acrobat.
  • Sun­day, Novem­ber 4, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: an illus­trat­ed talk, “Kore­an Art: An Excur­sion Beyond Masks, Vas­es and Paint­ings,” by Edward J. Shultz, inter­im dean of the UH School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies and a mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies fac­ul­ty. Shultz will present high­lights of tra­di­tion­al Korea’s art world, focus­ing on impor­tant arti­facts from Sil­la, Koryŏ, and Chosŏn and how these works pro­vide insights into Korea’s cul­tur­al development.
  • Sun­day, Novem­ber 11, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Kore­an mask schol­ar and pho­tog­ra­ph­er Cedar­Bough Sae­ji will offer an illus­trat­ed talk titled “Keep­ing a Tra­di­tion Alive: Issues with Preser­va­tion and Trans­mis­sion of Kore­an Mask Dance Dramas.”
  • Sun­day, Decem­ber 2, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: film­mak­er Bil­lie Lee will present an illus­trat­ed talk dis­cussing the Hawai‘i work of Kore­an dance master/​choreographer Hal­la Huhm. She will show excerpts from her new film, Mov­ing Home: The Lega­cy of Hal­la Pai Huhm.
  • Sun­day, Decem­ber 9, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.: a show­ing of Sŏpyŏn­je, an artis­tic film that tells of a fam­i­ly of tra­di­tion­al Kore­an pan­sori singers try­ing to make a liv­ing in the mod­ern world.
  • Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 6, 2013, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Judy Van Zile, UHM pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus and mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies fac­ul­ty, will speak about tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary dance in Korea in an illus­trat­ed talk titled “But is it ‘Kore­an’ Dance?”

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact the East-West Cen­ter Arts Pro­gram: tele­phone (808) 944‑7177; e-mail arts@eastwestcenter.org.