- My trip to Budapest and Vienna.
- My trip to Ann Arbor. And Ypsilanti.
- All the churches in Brooklyn Heights: visit each, learn about it, attend a service, blog it.
- My life as a Korean dancer.
- My theory of Tom Tom Club vs. David Byrne.
- My trip to Ghana.
- Being sick abroad.
- Toilets of the world (this one’s more of a photo essay).
- My trip to Mexico. (Noting a theme?)
- My trip to Paris.
- An open letter to the mayor demanding seasonal weather changes. (This will be funnier when actually written, I hope.)
This is a reasonable question that a number of people have asked me, including my mom. A quick search for Korean dance on YouTube turns up mostly pop, and if you throw in the word “traditional,” you get mostly women. And I had to admit that even I wasn’t very clear on what the dance style I’m learning is supposed to look like when a man does it. (When it comes to men’s dancing, I’m much more familiar with the twirly hat stuff and the 사물노리 (samulnori) farmers’ dance.)
As my grandfather tells it, he always thought of himself as rather weak and small. He’s short, and as a child he seems to have been somewhat bookish (though his idea of bookishness was to run five miles to the library, get a book, and run five miles back), and as an adult he became a corporate lawyer, not a role that necessarily calls for strapping men.
“Body like swan: above the water, everything slow. Down below the water, fast.” “Like cha-cha-cha! Cha-cha-cha!” “Everybody, Fast! In a circle! She is thief, I am police!” With these and other curious exhortations, I was initiated tonight into the world of traditional Korean dance.
On Tuesday, August 8, at 7:30 p.m., the 82-year-old Korean Living National Treasure dancer Kang Sun Young will perform at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, along with her troupe of 60 dancers and a 14-piece Korean traditional orchestra.
It’s extremely rare for a Korean performance to be staged on this scale outside of Korea. From what I know of Korean dance, it should be a moving and powerful experience. You can read the press release for details.
The Korean Mission to the UN is giving out tickets, so if you’ve got any interest in coming with me, please let me know by July 25.