Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | traditional dance
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Erin and I got to see a really interesting traditional Korean dance and music performance last week. Think about it -- you've seen taditional Japanese dancig in kimonos, and heard lots of traditional Japanese music, with the wood flute, koto and taiko drums. You've seen Chinese dance and heard Chinese music. And at events such as the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, audiences have been intorduced to the traditional dance and music of Bali, Vietnam, Philippines, India and more... but not that much from Korea. During the early years of the CDBF, a troupe of Korean seniors used to perform, but their act was mostly 20 minutes of the large group in traditional dress, circling the stage to no particular rhythm and randomly beating on drums. The festival has also featured a solo Korean dancer who did a slow and meticulous mask dance. Abd last year during the Miss Asian American Colorado pageant, one contestant performed a Korean fan dance with a bunch of cute kids helping out. I'm not sure why, but there hasn't been much exposure, at least in my world, of a lot of traditional Korean performance. Maybe the noisy, sometimes chaotic nature of traditional Korean dance just doesn't appeal to Americanized tastes. Whatever the reason, though, we got plenty on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Korean Consulate General in San Francisco sponsored a rare U.S. visit by a Korean dance troupe, Festive Lands, for a performance at the DCPA’s Temple Buell Theater titled “Colorado Forever.”