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Korean Stage Dance as a New Trend in Kazakhstan Choreography

Saitova GY*, Tskhay AS and Kenzikeyev RV

Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov, Panfilov str., Almaty, Russia

*Corresponding Author:
Saitova GY
Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T. Zhurgenov
127, Panfilov str., Almaty, 050000, Russia
Tel: +7 2614240
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 12, 2016; Accepted date: May 20, 2016; Published date: June 20, 2016

Citation: Saitova GY. Korean Stage Dance as a New Trend in Kazakhstan Choreography. Global Media Journal. 2016, 14: 26.

Copyright: © 2016 Saitova GY, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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The uninvestigated topic "The Korean stage dance is a new trend in Kazakhstan choreography" makes us constantly face the problem of the choreography status at modern stage in the context of Kazakhstan choreography. The solution of these problems will provide an integral view on the Korean dance origin on the territory of the Kazakhstan Republic. In the article suggested, the authors made an attempt to study the history pages of Korean stage dance formation and development in the State Republican Korean Theatre of Musical Comedy - the first Korean national theatre on the territory of Kazakhstan.


Korean theatre; Legend; Dance; Genre; Innovations in Ballet-master art; Ritual-magic play; Artifacts of stone dolmens


A modern world, characterized by globalization and mutual influence of cultures, has acquired new forms and put forward problems and tasks, connected with the world culture study. The English scientists K.M. Wells, studying the national approach to the outside world and the place of Korea in the world arena, writes, that one of the reasons of the nation's appeal to its own roots is its integration to the world system [1]. B.V. Lee, the author of historical-educational book "Learn the Richness of Korean Traditions", puts forward the principle question about the "Korea name" origin [2].

It shall be noted, that the Koreans, having at present the cultural heritage of high artistic merit, live not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also in the Far East (60s of the XIX century - reclamation of coastal areas of Russian Primorye), Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (1937, Deportation from the Far East). Apart from what territory they are living on, following the long-standing traditions, the Koreans stay the bearers of their national culture.

Despite the territorial division, differences in characteristics of social structure of the North and South Korea, as well as the Koreans, living on the territory of multinational Kazakhstan, taking into consideration the homogeneity of ethnic origin, the article presents an attempt to reveal the historical peculiarities and aesthetic specificity of Korean dance, as a national phenomenon; the development of stage dance is studied as a new trend in Kazakhstan choreography.

Closing the gap on one of the most importation aspects of activity of the Korean State Theatre of Musical Comedy, this investigation writes a new page to the history of Kazakhstan theatrical art, as well as to the understanding of the fact, to what degree it corresponds to the development tendencies of theatrical art in the world arena.

The relevance of this investigation is determined by the requirements of times; it is well known, that the Korean culture is one of the richest and the most ancient world cultures; at present, its role and place in the complex of Southern cultures - Eastern Asia and Far East, as well as in Kazakhstan - still stay significant. Till present, the Korean dance art on the territory of Kazakhstan is still understudied either in historical aspect, or in its full diversity.

The study of dance evolution onstage of the Korean State Theatre of Musical Comedy, meeting the modern requirements and principles of scientific-artistic thinking, provides an opportunity to structure the process in historical aspect and provides a forecast of its development and synthesis of direction. This article is the first in the sphere of study of Korean dance art in the territory of Kazakhstan; it will write a new page in the history of choreography of the Republic, defining a place of traditional and stage choreography in world general cultural heritage.

When analyzing the development peculiarities of the national dance in Korea, as well as in the Far East and Kazakhstan territory, a new criterion for the artistic image creation was revealed.

Based on generalization of the studied scientific works, as well as empirical and analytical researches in the article, it has done the following:

- the scattered and fragmentary information, related to the history and peculiarities of traditional Korean dance was generalized, as well as the interconnection of music and dance;

- the genesis of Korean dance art was studied; it consists of the ritual-magic actions, proved by the artifacts of stone dolmens, petroglyphs of Korea, mural painting of burial vaults of Koguryeo;

- the role of religious views in traditional Korean dance was determined;

- a number of Korean court and folk dances, games, that became the basis for independent dance performances and separate acts in the performances of Korean theatre was described;

- the development dynamics of Korean stage dance in national performances, concert programs of Korean theatre in Kazakhstan was revealed for the first time.

Literature Review. A significant contribution to the general theoretical study of Korean dance art was made by the Korean scientists, choreographers An Byung Hon, Lee E Soon, Sung Soo Nam, Coj Seung Hee [3-6]. The authors describe only some traditional dances, revealing their typical peculiarities.

A number of interesting facts about the work of Korean ballet-masters, performers of Korean dances, is taken from the works of Qwan Ben Rin, Kim Min - A [7-9].

In the former USSR, the first publication, directly devoted to the Korean dance, was the study guide "The Korean Dance", written in 1956 by An Soon Hee, co-authored by T. Tkachenko and N. Lvov [10].

The collection of articles "The Korean Classic Art", composed by L.I. Kireeva, presents a special valuable source to reveal the traditional layer of national choreography in the early period of Medievalism [11].

The archeological material, described by R.Sh. Dzharylgasinova and O.N. Glukhareva presents an important source to reveal the traditional layer of Korean national choreography in the early period of Medievalism [12,13].

The articles, dissertations, monographs of Russian Orientalists are of great interest. Thus, for instance, Yu.V. Ionova, in her work "Rituals, Customs and Their Social Functions in Korea (the Middle of XIX - the Beginning of XX Century) - (1982), devoted to the everyday, wedding and calendar ritualism, describes the traditional dances and mentions the role and significance of dances in Korean customs and rituals.

The work of V.M. Markov "The Republic of Korea. Traditions and Modernity in the Culture of the Second Half of XX Century. A View from Russia" (1999) has become the result of long study of traditions and culture of Korean nation, religious beliefs, rituals, traditional dances, the development trend of modern choreography. A classification of dance and musical art was made by I.A. Tolstokulakov [14]. Although the author pays the significant attention to the synthesis of musical-dance culture, he considers the traditional Korean costume in parallel, and also studies the reforms of Korean national culture, introduced by Van Sedgen, in the historical aspect.

From our point of view, the dissertation to the topic "The Problems of Korean Dance Art: "The New Dance" and Typical Dance in the Development Process of National Ballet", written by the Ph.D. in Art History Lim Jae Joon, is of special interest [15].

The master's dissertation "Dance Culture of Korea: History and Modernity" of the Korean scientist Moon Byun Nam, is devoted to the study of peculiarities of South Korean and North Korean stage dance and to the theatrical production in modern Korean culture [16]. Some aspects of Korean music and dance art are studied in the dissertation works of Seong Sin Jun, Im Ok Soon, Sang Kuing Kim, Lam To Tok [17-19].

To reveal the peculiarities of musical-rhythmical basis of the Korean dance, the authors studied the works of musicologists, contained in collections "Bands, Songs and Shamanic Rituals: Folk Music in Korean Society" by Howard K. (1990), "The Formation of Traditional Music in Korea" by Hung Man Yan (The development of traditional music in Korea). The work "Music and Theatre of Koreans in the Far East of Russia (1860-1937): the Dialogue of History and Art" by V.A. Koroleva presents the "experience in reconstruction of traditional culture (including the dance one) of the Koreans, who live in the Far East in the period from 1860 to 1937 [20]. "The Specificity of Rhythm in Korean Traditional Instrumental Music" is the topic of dissertation of the Ph.D. of Art History Joon San Il [21].

Paying special attention to "chandan", and to "usuli" in the dances of people of the Central Asia, it is possible to say, that "their emotional imagery shows, that today we meet the dance, which has a great history, the dance, where the life is described by means of the poetic symbol of movement" [22].

Among the first publications, it is possible to mention the articles of V.L. Burmeister "National Korean Ballet", written in "The Literary Newspaper" on January 12, 1957 and E.Ya. Surits "The Korean Ballet and its Problems" [23,24].

The master's thesis "Interaction of Russian and Korean Choreographic Traditions in Modern Ballet Art of the Korean Republic" by N.A. Cai is devoted to the study of creative exchange between two countries in the sphere of ballet art [25]. Let us note, that the literature about traditional and modern Korean choreography in Kazakhstan is limited by several publications in periodical press. Among the newspaper publications of the last years, it is possible to distinguish the article "Her Dance Poetry", the interview of L.V. Kim, the chief ballet-master of the Korean Theatre [26].

The valuable information on the history of Korean Theatre is contained in the monograph "The Soviet Korean Theatre" by I.F. Kim and in the book "The History of Korean Theatre", the project author is L.A. Nee [27].

Methods of Study

The object of study is the Korean dance art in the culture of Koreans, who live on the territory of Kazakhstan. The subject of study is the development of Korean stage dance, the regularity of historical development and modern state. Methods of investigation are the following:

- Comparative method;

- Typological method of analysis;

- Inductive way of logical analysis.

- Inquiry method, involving the observation during the study placement with the Korean National University of Seoul. The complex approach to the study of history and culture of Korea is presented in the works of V.M.T and Kan Mangil, S.A. Tokarev, A.N. Lankov, A.A. Kolomin and other Russian scientists [28-31].

The works and statements of outstanding people of choreography of Kazakhstan B.G. Ayukhanov, G.T. Zhumaseitova, G.Yu. Saitova, A.B. Shankibaeva were also analyzed [32-35].

Thanks to comparative approach, it was managed to reveal typical features of dance culture of the Koreans in Kazakhstan, Far East and Korea (South, DPRK).

The comparative approach provided an opportunity to "determine the place of traditional and scenic choreography in global cultural heritage, as well as preservation of unique traditions of choreography" [36].

The method of inquiry and observation, direct contact with the veterans, actors, ballet-masters of Korean theatre, as well as with leading specialists of the Korean National University, National museums, Centers of Culture and Art of Seoul provided an opportunity to use the recording devices of music and dance, customs and traditions.

The Results of Study

The purpose of the presented work is to determine the vector and to reveal the potential of development of the Korean stage dance in the territory of Kazakhstan.

- To determine the main stages and peculiarities of dance art in Old Korean culture;

- To create the integral view on the phenomena of Korean dance art, conditioned by the peculiarity of dance art in the epoch of Three States (Koguryeo, Paekche and Silla);

- The study of classification of three main types of traditional Korean dances;

- The boundary definition of the volume of dance heritage, studied as of today, is the basis to form the Korean stage dance;

- The analysis of evolution process of the Korean stage dance in the correlation aspects of tradition and innovation, the study of achievements of other dance systems;

- The understanding of connection and relations of traditional and modern dance Korean culture.

It is known, that "the Stage dance is the type of art, where the means of artistic image creation are the movements and positions of human body.... The dance laws are similar to the music laws... The dances, created by separate representatives of nations, became widely spread, gradually getting the stable forms. National originality of dance culture was reflected in specific poses, rhythms, pictures of dance. The best dance samples became the merit of world culture" [37].

Throughout the millenniums, the political and economical relations of the Koreans were developed in close contact with the neighboring nations. Certainly, it was reflected in both religious belief and national culture. It is known, that the Great Silk Way - the East-West, coming from China through the Eastern Turkestan, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Northern India to the countries of Western Europe - played a great role in mutual influence of religious trends, musical, dance cultures of world nations. "China played the most significant role in this process, wherethrough Confucianism and Buddhism penetrated to the Korean Peninsula. The latter is the state religion of the Three States" [12,31]. In particular, "dance forms and genres, as well as other types of art, were borrowed by Koreans from China and other neighboring countries. However, the borrowed form was rethought according to the Korean national worldview and aesthetic peculiarities " [38].

According to the data from works of scientists from Russia, the West European countries and Korea, they share the view on significant role of religions in the life activity of dance traditions of national art [39-41].

Let us repeat once again, that "Korea is mentioned in chronicles of bordering states, named "Joseon" - "the country of mourning tranquility" ("the country of mourning freshness"). In VII century B.C., according to the legends, written in China sources of the beginning of our era, the China magnate Ji-Tze, known under the Korean name Ky Dza (Kidzha), trying to pull through death, left China and, swimming cross the river Amnokkan, settled in Korea" [33]. Then it speaks, that it was Ky Dza, who "named Korea the country of mourning tranquility".

The period of "three states was the period of Korean culture origin and formation", where Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and other religious trends played a definite role in formation and development of traditional dances and their aesthetic principles [38].

The important artifacts, proving the existence of early believes and ritual performances, are the monuments of material culture. The abovementioned is proved by the famous tonsamdon "mask-depiction of human face from the shell (with the holes for the mouth and eyes), "clay depiction of human face, presenting the human-like spirits of the face - the Lars from Hosanna. Let us note, that "the tradition to depict the faces of guardian spirits, the protectors from "the evil spirits" on the clay shines, bronze plates etc. lived in Korea for a long time; it is quite possible, that its roots shall be searched for in this primitive neolithic mask" [28].

In the period of bronze era, "according to the data of Chinese and Japanese historians, in the historical data about the nations Fu-yui, Ko-gu-rio and others", inhabited the Korean Peninsula, "there is mentioned the fact, that they worshiped the spirits of earth and air, genius-gardeners of hills and rivers, soil, caves and even tigers. The Sky and mourning star were especially worshiped [16]. Worship of spirits, which have their own names, takes a special place in the life of modern Koreans - "koryo saram".

The professor V.M. Tikhonov and the historiographer from the South Korea Kan Mangil describe the religion, the ideology of traditional and modern Korea [28]. V.M. Tikhonov mentions, that "the caps" of Geochang dolmens frequently resemble the image of tortoise - the symbol of fertility and longevity in Proto-Koreans" [28]. It is proved by the walls and gates of fortresses, survived till present, as well as private houses, decorated by tortoises. "The state stamp of Korea also has the form of the tortoise, and it is carved from marble" (Korean religion 1900).

In his description, V.M. Tikhonov mentions, that "the Geochang dolmens are usually located according to the axis of the East-West, what hints at their possible link with the Sun cult", as well as the "cult of stones and mountains", that got their development at later stages of Old Korean history". The collected materials state, that "the dolmen shall be considered a sacral symbol of the community in whole, the center of generic and communal cult life" [28].

Thus, "the connection of these giant burial vaults with religious rituals", where, obviously, definite rituals took place, testify about the atmosphere of Korean life in ancient times, about the existence of primitive religious performances. The digging of stations and burials of dolmens testify about cult actions, where, obviously, dance actions were of great significance and had definite tasks.

"It seems, that the geometrical motive of circle and concentric lines, frequently met in Korean petroglyphes, is connected with the cult of Sun - the source of light and fertility" [28]. The mirrors are also connected with the Sun cult; they had "a special ritual-magic meaning...they were considered an important belonging of the priest or shaman, by means of which the religious people could "concentrate" the light in their hands (the main constituent of the sacral space) and could "manage" it [28].

Here is necessary to remind, that the Koreans have the belief, that the deceased after death is presented in the image of three spirits, living in the sky, on the earth and under the ground. There existed the ritual Sadya bab, which consisted in feeding the three spirits. The description of this ritual is written in the book B.V. Lee. In the end of the ritual, "those who present, made a del (bow). Then the food from the table was gathered to the commemorative dishes and was also buried" in order "the deceased's soul did not come back to the quick" [2].

"The interconnection and interaction of "underearth" (earthy) and "top" (sky) worlds is proved by the survived fragments of mural painting of Koguryeo burial vaults. "The first burial vault Koguryeo with paintings was opened by Edward Shavann in 1907 close to the river Tungou.... Further steps of archeology of Koguryeo are connected with the names of Japanese scientists Torii Ryûzô, Sekino Tadashi, Hamada Kosaku, Ikueti Hirosi, Umehara Suedze" [12].

The famous mural paintings of burial vaults of the Koguryeo period, where the heaven spirits Sasin are depicted (the guardians of the four cardinal direction), as well as the secular and mythological plots, date back to the IV-VII centuries. The definite consistent pattern of painting exists there; it reflects the aesthetic views of artists, as well as "the worldview of people of that times, their views about the interaction and interconnection of "underearth" (earthy) and "top" (sky) worlds" [12].

The portrait-genre painting - Inmul pkhunsok, which mainly depicts the rich magnate and his lucky life in the other world, is of great interest. It seems that the unknown artists tried to communicate deep philosophical content, "lied in Korean culture initially, at the stage of myth formation" [38]. The Orientalists N.A. Vinogradova and N.S. Nikolaeva consider: "The relations of myth personages determine the state of cosmos: chaos and harmony. The shift from chaos to harmony is provided not by means of battle and victory of the headstart over the evil forces, but by the marriage of two opposite heroes and the birth of the young facilitator" [42]. Obviously, peaceful character of Korean nation, full of optimistic, but sentimental culture, was formed on the basis of philosophical worldview of harmony in everything. Hence follows the character and manner of performance, especially of female dances.

The burial vaults, found close to the county Anak, got the names "Anak No.1", "Anak No.2", "Anak No.3". The walls of the burial vault had the following paintings: the hunting scene, the depiction of palace, the demonstration of people, the fantastic animals (the fish with wings and legs, the roe with wings), the drum of unusual form", architectural details (columns), the Great Bear Constellation" [7].

The mural paintings of the burial vault Hanbanmyo ("The tomb in the form of pan") are described by the famous Korean archeologist To Yuhoo. He writes the following: "This burial ground has magnificent fresco paintings. The walls are grounded by lime and painted with inimitable mastery. The firm hand with single free movements, drew the lines, typical of the Asian art. The powerful figure of guardian with risen sward, full of angry precipitance, froze on the wall, still charming the spectator with the amazing lines of his body; the magnificent fairy with the nimbus round the head and the lotus flower in hands enheavens. The Western wall has the pretty children faces, which smile to us through the earth flows. All these perfect human figures are framed with remarkable symbolic paintings of the ceiling and curtain rods" [43].

"Muonchon" ("The burial vault with depiction of dances") is located near Cian. One of the most wide-spread plots is the depiction of musicians and dancers. Frequently, it is "a peculiar "ensemble": three musicians and dancer, where the movement of the dancer is presented with astonishing mastery, as well as the light and free costumes of the musicians" [12]. Thus, the artist specifies the synthesis of dance and music.

Naturally, the depiction of dancer, who performs definite dance elements - "crossing the legs and rising the hands in front of the chest, is of great interest; he (the dancer), as if claps hands it time with music".

The dancer is depicted in traditional clothes, typical of Koguryeo people of the time. He wears "long cogory with narrow sleeves, roped with the belt on the waist, the long shalwars (padzhy), the bottom of trousers is decorated with stripped bottoms; there are black shoes on his legs" [12]. However, "freakish hat from the cloth with red spots, resembling the turban" and the facial profile of dancer "with big long nose, not typical of the Mongoloids... gives ground to some scientists to considers, that the dancer in the mask is depicted; the others assume that it is the dancer of "foreign origin".

We share the opinion of the scientists, that "Turban", "the dancer's face profile... is not typical of Mongoloids"; it provides an opportunity to put forward the hypothesis about the borrowings in the culture of Koreans and the nations of China and Asia. At the same time, the interconnection and mutual enrichment of song-musical and dance art is proved by the historical facts, recorded by many Orientalists. More likely, the sketch of "the dancer of foreign origin" is connected with one of that syncretic cults, which were originated in the Central Asia or Eastern Turkestan, and came to the Korean Peninsula through China.

One of the brightest samples, the influence of Korean dance culture on Chinese multipart performance "Shee bu yue", is met in the monograph "Dance Chinese Art: History and Modernity" by the art scientist A.B. Vats. The performance "Shee bu yue" - "Gaoly yue" (the dance of Gaoly state) dates back to the old state Koguryeo, located in the North of Korea. Two performances were connected with the musical-dance traditions of the Central Asia ("Kango yue" and "Angyo yue" - the dance art of Uzbekistan). Three performances are connected with the empires, located on the territory of modern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region "Gaochan yue" (Turfan), "Guitsy yue (Kucha), "Shul yu" (Kashgar).

Thus, "Shee bu yue" reflects the ideological principles on the use of different cultural borrowings" (Vats 2011, p. 47), accepted by the government of Tan Empire (Ly Clan). The message, that its performers wore the costumes with long sleeves and white shoes, calls attention to itself; it coincides with the image, still used today in the folk Korean dances" [44].

"It is possible to say about the Chinese culture in whole, that, perceiving the foreign cultural phenomena, it soaked and "absorbed" them fully, determining the place in general nomenclature and endowing its own Chinese names and terms" [45].

The survived fragments of "multifigured composition", where "three groups of people are arranged in the big site in the open air ... there are two men: the dancer and the musician" [12]... playing the vankham, in the far row", provide an opportunity to make the conclusion about the existence of solo male performance. There are five dancers in the middle row: three men and two women. Their figures are depicted in one movement. The dancers move smoothly to the right, whilst their hands are put to the opposite" [12]. This episode communicates the group lyrical dance, which shows the style of performance presents the record of one of dance elements and, mainly, reflects the unique traits of character and temper of the Koreans.

"Finally, there are seven singers in the third row. The singers stands in compact group - their easy poses, light, relaxed head rotations excellently reproduce the atmosphere of performance of liquid melody" [12]. From the description of wall fragment, we see qualitative performance.

The existence of professional actors, jongleurs, stilt walkers is proved by the "scene of feast from the burial vault "Phalchonny pyokhvachon" [12]. There are good reasons to say, that there were the cult dances, performed in temples, sanctuaries, during state rituals, and the court dances of entertaining character (feast scene) [12]. The cult court dances and the court dances in whole "are characterized by graceful, powerlike movements. As opposed to the court dances, the Korean dances reflect the everyday life, labor and believe of simple people (rural dance, dance in masks, shamanic dance)" [46].

The Korean music and dance art, passing through the long way of development, absorbing the foreign phenomena, managed not only to keep its originality, but, being descended from generation to generation, promoted definite conservation, thanks to which definite artistic canons were elaborated.

- Musical traditions, being developed for centuries, revealed the main genres of court music - tanak, khyanak, aak; thee genres of folk music muak, sogak, sandcjo, nonak or "peasant music"; the dance, being developed under the influence of musical art, was developed both in court and in folk art. The peculiar feature of court dances is the ceremonial dance tradition, deep artistic merit and unusual brightness of costumes, accessories. At present, the reproduced court dances "Chkhoenmu", "Khakmu", "Chkhuenchzhon", "Kommu" are considered to be the "Treasury of Spiritual Culture"; the leading folk dances are the following ones: "thalchhum", "sandenory", "synmu", "musokcum", "kkokdugaksee", "thepkhyonmu", "khannyanmu" and "salpkhury";

- The synthesis of oral-musical-dance culture became the basis of theatrical art and Korean musical opera chkhanguk;

- Ritual shamanic dances in the masks, previously fulfilled magic functions, began to be used both in ritual, and in theatrical-dance performances. Gradually, being developed in folk surroundings, they began to bear the artistic loading. Dance performances in the masks are divided in 4 types and have their own peculiarities, differences and destination: Yangju, Ponsan, Hahve, Ogvande.

Reasoning about national peculiarities of dance art, the art experts, who deal with the problems of national choreography and who try to make their classification, express their view and put forward different hypothesis. Despite the fact, that "still there is no single opinion on the criteria of approaches to dance grouping. Some scientists stand for the single classification principle. The majority of scientists consider, that it is impossible to invent the universal classification, and the dances shall be subdivided on the basis of material specificity" [47].

The American scientists R. Kraus, proceeding from the material specificity (dance history, modern American theatrical dances, the status of choreographic education in the USA), classified the material into six main groups: 1. Ballet; 2. Modern dance; 3. Social dance; 4. Stage dance; 5. Folk dance; 6. Ethnic dance [48].

The work of English folklorists V. Alford and R. Gellop, based on general review of folk dances of the British Isles, deals with the comparative analysis of traditional dances of European nations. Revealing common features and differences, the authors classify dances according to content, form and main motions [49].

Foreign scientists K. Zaks, A. Mill, R. Persivel, in their complex approach to dance classification, group them according to their belonging to definite ritual [50-52].

The majority of scientists from the Post-Soviet Republics also follow the classification of traditional dance choreography according to its belonging to rituals. The authors Koo J.M., Nacht A.C. in the book "An Introduction to Korean Culture", based on the studied Korean folk dances, analyze and make a conclusion about the peculiarities and differences of court, Confucian and folk dances [53].

Studying "The Dance Korean Culture", Mun Byun Nam distinguishes "two trends in specific performance: vocal and instrumental music" in dance music.

Studying the traditional Korean culture, its typical features, the regularities of historical development and modern status, the Doctor of Art V.M. Markov studies the choreographic material - the dances "Chakpop", "Ilma", "Choenma", "Salphury", "Puchhechhum" - and for the first time makes a classification of Korean traditional dance on its basis [54].

The investigations of Korean Scientists I.A. Tolstokulakov and Yu.I. Ionova are characterized by the attraction of data from related areas: history, music studies, culturology. The Doctor of Art Sciences I.A. Tolstokulakov raises a problem about the relation of music and dance of previous centuries, in conclusion, he provides a classification of musical and dance art.

Yu. I. Ionova made a significant contribution to general theoretical study of shamanic traditions. In 1980, Ionova wrote the article "Shamanism in Korea (XIX - the beginning of XX century)", where the customs, rituals and the reflection of song and music traditions of Korean, are considered in details.

The ethnographic material of V.E. Baglay is of special interest for study. Describing the sources of Korean national choreography, the author classifies the traditional dances into six types: court, shamanic, Buddhism, Confucian, folk dances and mask dance performances [46].

Taking into consideration the materials of research works of several scientists, comparing all classification ways and personal observations, we grouped the dances in the following way:

1. Court dances involve ritual and religious ones;

2. Folk dances involve rural and shamanic dances in masks;

3. Neokorean dance presents a synthesis of elements from traditional and modern dances.

This classification provides an opportunity to trace the development of Korean traditional dance both in historical aspect, so to say "vertically", and "horizontally" - in all its diversity as of today.

Studying the pages of history of the Korean theatre, in connection with its deportation from the Far East and with numerous migration of the Koreans inside Kazakhstan, it is possible to distinguish four main stages in the theatre development:

The first stage - Far Eastern (1932-1936) - is determined as a period of generation and development of Korean stage dance. The first dance sketches, in the performance "A Legend of the Girl Coon Hyan", were produced by the musician and expert of Korean folk dances Lee Bon Hak. He included some moments from the folk festival "Tano" and marriage rite "Hapgynne" and "Phebek" to the dance scenes, carefully keeping the form and elements of dance movements in folklore choreography. Thus, the Korean folk dance got stage interpretation for the first time.

A performance "The Legend about the Girl Coon Hyan", created on the basis of classic Korean epos, "is permanently present in the repertoire of the Korean theatre from the day of its formation"; it is the visiting card of the theatre. Running ahead, let us note, that for the time of theatre existence (1932- 2014), the play was reworked several times (1960-s, 1970-s, 1980-s). With each new interpretation of the play, the topic of love is remained unchanged. With good reason, it is possible to say, that the performance "The Legend about the Girl Coon Hyan" has become a peculiar school for the whole generation of Korean actors and ballet-masters producers.

From high antiquity, the plots of national folklore, survived till present and became the basis of stage performances: "The Legend about the Girl Coon Hyan" by Lee Den Nim, "The Legend about the Girl Sim Cen" and "Ariran" by Zay Ena; folk-heroic - "The Slaves" by Thai Dyan Coon; "The Legend about Hynbu" by Thai Dyan Coon The Legend about the Hare" by Ni Nikolay V and many others.

- The second stage is of Kzyl-Orda; it initially covers 4 years (1937-1941) - the pre-war period, and then, after Ush-toba, it covers 9 years, coming back in the period from 1959 to 1968.

Deportation is a tragic period of repressions, befalling the Korean nation. The vein of the Korean theatre is interrupted.

- The third stage is Ushtobinsky. The tours of the theatre in the RSFSR, USSR, Transcaucasia Republics became the significant events in the middle of 1950-s. Together with the masters of dance art, they participated in large concert in Moscow during the Decade of Kazakh Literature and Art (1958). To prepare the Kazakh dance routines, the balletmaster from DPRK Ra Suk Hi, who had a study placement with the Bolshoy Theatre, was invited. The increased performance level in the theatre provided Ra Suk Hi with an opportunity to produce classical Korean dances, such as "Dance with Swards", "Dance with Hand Fans", "Dance with Drums" (Hansami Chum"), "The Shepherd and the Girl" ("San Mu").

Let us pay your attention, that the "Dance with Hand Fans" in stage interpretation was introduced by famous ballet dancer Coj Seung Hee, who played the major role in development of Korean dance art of the new time". It was the beginning of the XX century, when "the Koreans met the Russian Ballet and Russian folk dances for the first time" [10]. The Russian spectator saw the rich art of the Korean dance art for the first time in 1951; it was brought under Coj Seung Hee. The second meeting took place in 1965.

- the fourth stage of the theatre (from 1968 till present). The end of 1960 brought new changes to the life of the Korean theatre - in 1968 the theatre was moved from Kzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata, the capital of Kazakhstan".

The address to folk traditions continued in the subsequent years. In 1970, Kim Gi bon, Kim Hya Oon, Tatyana Kim - the actors family from the Korean theatre produces "Non Ak" ("The Peasant Festival"), where the dancers, dance girls and actors participated. The first, that attracted attention, was the close and active contact of performers with spectators.

The theatre actors' skill, inventive, even improvisatory performance of mise en scences, taken from folk games and rituals, presented the wide, many-sided range of song-choreographic composition "Non Ak". The spectator "was bribed" by authentically folklore material.

Missing some pages, let us note that the team still continues the creative search. "The Prince of Three Kingdoms" has become the performance, that marks a milestone; it was written based on the motives of Korean folklore legends. The performance was confined to the 80s anniversary of the theatre.

Young choreographers of the musical fantasy "The Prince of Three Kingdoms", the ballet-dancers Nadezhda Kim and Anna Coj perfectly coped with the tasks of the Producer Oleg Lee.

The performance is full of song-dance and plastic scenes, which differ with light musicality. The choreographer provides the spectators with an opportunity "so see" the magnificent music, composed by George Yun.

The traditional Korean choreography is finely intertwined with non-traditional plastics in the performance, for instance: "the court dance" is presented in restrained, sublime traditional character; in "The Autumn Dance" we can see the wind whirls in free plastics.

In the stage, when the Prince - Autumn sings the song, two girls dance the stylized Korean dance with long sleeves "Hansam".

The dance to the song of the Summer Prince is interpreted as playful, with light character. A new technical device is used in duet dance "Butterflies" (is conventionally named by the authors of this article). The dance girls make play of the properties - large butterflies, fixed on clusters. The choreography is based on the play and flitter of the properties. Dance vocabulary is mainly based on the free plastics.

The girl duet to the song of Winter Prince is performed in more national style in the synthesis of classic steps, underlying the poses. The dance character is more pacific, lush, musically continuous. Such properties, as powdered branches of fur-tree are used; the difference is that the dance here is primary.

The Spring is the awakening of nature: the first flowers, tender flower-buds. The soul dances and sings, it is the bird flitter, the strive for the unknown, the feeling of Love. The dance to the song of Spring Prince is performed by four girl dancers, they have the flower wreaths. Transparency and airiness is felt - the dance is produced in romantic style.

The second act begins with the dance of "Fairies", presented in single statistical coloring of the performance. The first part is performed by the ballet-dancers, then, it gradually flows to the dance-song picture with the participation of actresses, who perfectly possess the scenic plastics.

The dance of the princess Man Ok and friends (6 actresses), the dance of "Spirits", performed by the theatre actors with "hansami" and in masks "Non Ak".

Today the participants and followers continue the search for the new artistic way of thinking, harmonious synthesis of traditional national and modern plastic language, new forms and genres.

A new search, in new genre was the one-act ballet "Parallelism", produced by Anna Coj. The libretto of the graduation work, written by A. Coj herself, is devoted to the deportation of Koreans from the Far East to Kazakhstan. The ballet is produced in lyrical-dramatic genre. Dance vocabulary is used in some pictures in "purely" national movements, sometimes in the synthesis of elements of Korean dance and free plastics, sometimes in modern dance style.

Thanks to the politics of Kazakhstan, the contacts with historical motherland of actors of the Korean theatre were established. The leading ballet-masters of the theater R.I. Kim and L.V. Kim were initially sent to DPRK, and then to the Korean Republic for practical training. Certainly, it provided a new view, innovative search in the performances of professional ballet-masters.

The Korean scene dance raises to the new level thanks to choreographers of the Korean Republic, who come to Alma- Ata (2014, 1015) under the Memorandum on cooperation, written in 2013 with the Korean Theatre Of Kazakhstan. The producers from the Center of Preservation of Non-Material Korean Heritage taught the master-classes on study of Korean compositions, combining the synthesis of dance and acrobatic stunts.

Based on the study of Korean traditional dances, existing on the territory of Kazakhstan, Korea (South and North), the Far East, despite the development of stage type of art with different ideological views, it is possible to assure, that the commonness of aesthetic principles provided the typological unity of folk dance on the territory of settlements of the Korean, making it the integral phenomenon of national culture.

The Discussion of the Obtained Results

Disclaiming the study of such complex problem, we tried to study only one aspect in our article - the formation and development of Korean stage dance, as a new trend in Kazakhstan choreography. As this aspect could not be studied without the historical context, the object of study involved general traditional dances, ritual-magic rites, reflected religious, aesthetic preconditions.

Traditional Korean dance art is undoubtedly considered one of the brightest and richest cultural phenomena. The period of "three states was the period of Korean culture origin and formation" where Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and other religious trends played a definite role in formation and development of traditional dances and their aesthetic principles.

To study the Korean dance art, "the poetic adaptation of myths and historical legends, medieval historical-geographical compositions, ancient Korean encyclopedias, collections Phesol - the small prose forms (12-17 centuries)"(Korean Mythology) - are of great value. The scientists mention that "the Korean mythology has a number of specific features. It is connected more with the history of the country or the fantasy world, than with the world of gods.

It is known, that "many myths present the models of actions and organization of life pattern and connect them with primeval period" [55]. The Korean myths also reflect the primeval folk believes, pantheistic in their character. There existed the view about the "mythologem "of world axis" and its "sacral" center of the world" in the view of spatial vertical (the world tree or mountain). Here follows "the cult of sacral trees and mountains... The cult of Sky God, responsible for the fertility in universe" typical of the Proto-Koreans of early centuries. The worship of four elements (the sky, the earth, the fire and the water), propitiation of different spirits, demons was communicated in cult ritual dances. The belief and the superstition, connected with the worship of nature spirits and mythic ancestors - the representatives of animal world, and with the protectors and defenders of people in underworld - the spirits of ancestors - are of special significance in ritual actions.

Ritual dances, comprised to different rites, including "The Dragon Dance", implement fully not only the dance, but also the ethnographic traditions.

The existence of ancient dances, that took an important place in rituals, presents the rudimentary form of theatrical performance, which existed in shamanic rites.

At present, many legends and fairy-tales take a special place in the repertoire of theatres of Kazakhstan and Korea.

As it is impossible "to reconstruct the archaic samples of ritual dances", then, "using the retrospective method of analysis", we made an attempt to "reveal the understudied aspects of ritual choreography" [56].

Actually, the female Korean round dance "Kangansuolle" is "picturesque" and "poetic". The culture expert Moon Byun Nam made the most detailed description of "Kangansuolle". Comparing it with Russian round dance, the author specifies that "Kangansuolle" is the round dance, "it is related to the Russian folk round, which is danced by the young girls under the moon in the Midsummer's night" and notes "its distinctive features.... "Russian round is danced in more speedy pace, the performers are separated by small intervals, the round is frequently ended with fast dancing. In Korean round dance, the girls as if swim in dance, hands in hands, closely cuddling to each other; they make a step not from the toe, but mainly from the heel" [16].

Let us present a more detailed description of the round dance, recorded by Moon Byun Nam.

"Kangansuolle" is accompanied by cult songs, and it is connected with the worship of Moon, as a symbol of fertility. In the full moon of the first and eighths month according to lunar calendar, many girls gather together to sing in chorus and solo, and to dance in a round. More than fifty girls can participate in a round. This dance is characterized by slow even circular motions..., which alter with bobbing and chanting in honor of the moon. Gradually, it causes great interest, that the pace of the round becomes faster and ends in whirl dancing. Circular motions mean purification and enclosure from evil spirits.

"Kangansuolle" dates back to the ancient agrarian magic: its plastics and chanting expressed the love for the earth. Frequent bobbing is the collection of rice spikes... The traditional motions, being elaborated for centuries, concentrate the essence of national character, its peculiar tempo and rhyme, typical of this ethnos" [16].

This abstract shows us, what is the round dance "Kangansuolle". First of all, it is the song-choreographic composition, which shown the entwinement of elements of the ritual dance "Moon worship", "purification, enclosure from the evil spirits" with definite rite, devoted to cropping. Existing in further centuries, losing its magic functions, the round dance "Kangansuolle" "remained a bright and life-affirming phenomenon of folk dance culture". It is not unexpected, that at present, it has different variants of composition, which are shown at "regional festival "Henan Kangansuolle in the South Jeolla Province (The republic of Korea). The round "Kangansuolle", danced in the South Jeolla Province (The Republic of Korea), has a status of "national treasure of the culture No. 8".

Fragmentary data about the rites of Sky worship is present in the works of many scientists, who studied Korea. The Sky ruler Hanynim worship continued to exist in sacral stars, connected with human fates. Large stars were considered to be the symbols of giants, wise men, and the small ones were the symbols of ordinary people. Moon Byun Nam, referring to the scientist E.V. Vasilchenko, underlines, that "the Korean region, the same as the whole South-Eastern Asia, was characterized by the use and scalarization of bronze and stone instruments... The sounding of such instruments does not die out for a long time, spreading in waves every each side, being heard for large distance, especially in the mountains and near the water" [57]. Then the author puts forward a hypothesis, that "... such sounding shall provide complete communication with divine world, spreading the sound within larger space in external manifestation, dipping the consciousness of the listeners to ecstatic state" [16].

Full and complete description of sacral relation to instruments was given by the scientist "Han To In. "...By the example of teaching to main techniques of drum cango playing, revealing the imagery meaning of instruments, he reveals the relation of the musician to the instrument. Judging by fair conclusion of Han To In, the traditions of "teaching to main techniques of the drum chango playing survived till present [58]. Han writes: "Imagine, that your closest person has died. In grief and sorrow, you fall on the ground and strike it with hand. You strike the ground: ttak, tta, da, dok, kun; you play kukun, kidak; you play with both hands: don. There are no such people, who could strike the ground automatically, as a machine. However, there are people, who make the strike technics automatic, skillfully striking the drums chango with the feeling of respect and complaisance" [59].

According to the words of L.V. Kim, the main ballet-master of the Korean theatre (Kazakhstan), the dances, performed at present to the chango drums, have their own specificity. Being the producer of the "Dance with Drums", L.V. Kim pays attention to the following moments: firstly, the dancer is simultaneously the performer and the accompanist; secondly, the dancer shall have the brightly expressed feeling of rhyme, body coordination and technical skills when striking the rhythmic pattern on chango; thirdly, the complex dance technique (different twiddles, diverse twists, hopping) shall communicate the harmonious implementation of the image. All this adds the dance special mannerism of performance and has its specific character.

The "Dragon Dance", popular in Korea, China, in the countries of South-Eastern Asia, presents the developed dramatized carnival, having its own variation. For instance, in the epoch of Silla state, the dance Coen or "The Dance of Dragon of Eastern Sea" existed; it was one of the variants of the classical "Dragon Dance". Initially it was danced by one actor, then by two, and in the beginning of Coson period, five people participate in it. This court dance was performed before the New Year celebration to expel all evil spirits. The men actors were dressed in blue, white, red, black and yellow costumes, symbolizing four corners of the earth and the center; the faces were covered by brown masks. In the beginning, they dance sole , then each of them dances in pair with the actor, who is in center, at that, all other participants whirl synchronously with them. The performance is accompanied by shamanic music.

From the abovementioned follows, that the form of the "Dragon Dance" presents the multi-part composition. In the process of its development, the dance changed in qualitative performance (solo, pair, five). We can suppose, that improvisation prevailed in embryonic state, where the actor demonstrated his talent. His dance vocabulary involved imitation and pantomime motions, imitating the Dragon. When the number of performers increased, the dance became a kind of contest, where each of five actors dances solo "in the pair with the actor, dancing in the center".

Traditional dance art continues to exist as a stability symbol of Korean culture both in folklore heritage of people, and in scenic interpretation at stage, despite the territorial separation of the Koran nation.


The purpose of this article is to study the Korean dance in the context of formation and development of Kazakhstan choreography and its integration in the world space. The purpose is also to determine a vector and to reveal a potential of Korean stage dance in the State Republican Korean Theatre of Musical Comedy [60].

However, to achieve this aim, it was required to determine the main stages and peculiarities of dance art in Old Korean culture; to reveal early forms of believes, which were reflected in everyday customs, definite cult traditions and different types of dances.

Based on generalization of the studied scientific works, as well as empirical and analytical survey, the work introduces a concept of genesis of Korean dance art, consisting of ritualmagic actions, proved by the artifacts of stone dolmens, Korean petroglyphs, mural painting of Koguryeo burial vaults. The idea, that the Korean dance art, being a constituent of Proto-Korean culture, from times immemorial represents the ethnocultural codes, dating back to shamanic and Buddhism ritual dances, is also substantiated. The adoption of Confucianism and Daoism, musical and dance cultures were rethought and included to new cultural context. Thus, it is possible to say the following:

- The close relation of religion and dance is traced in ethnic culture;

- Syncretism was a phenomenon of religious worldview of Korean. Thus, when shamanism dominated, Buddhism initially penetrated, and then, Confucianism and Daoism became widespread in the circles of feudal aristocracy;

- Multi-religious factor played a creating role in centuries-old succession of spiritual Korean culture, keeping the unique samples in traditional dance art.

Close intercultural contacts played a significant role in development of Korean dance and musical culture: meridional direction of the Great Silk Way (from the East to the West and vice versa), which manifested itself in great flow of religious (Buddhism) and philosophical (Confucianism, Daoism) views, in syncretism of Chinese, Turkic musical-dance cultural traditions.

The blossom of Korean folk drama, the emergence and formation of Korean music and dance culture happened in the period of three states - Koguryeo, Paekche and Silla. The development of Old dance culture, which had definite, clearly determined periods, provided an opportunity to subdivide the traditional dance into two types: court and folk, characterized by the peculiar style and manner of performance.

The first national Korean theatre in the world engendered in Primorski Krai of the Far East in 1932. Studying the pages of the history of Korean theatre, in connection with the deportation from the Far East (1937) and numerous migration of the Koreans inside Kazakhstan, four main types in theatre development were distinguished. The most prominent and successively appeared tendencies were selected as the criteria in periodization of the Korean stage dance development.

It was the period of active experiments, the search for new forms and their fulfillment with new content. Keeping the fundamental values of national principles, the theatre managed to overcome the number of constraining factors on the way of creation of larger choreographic pieces of work. The creation of one-act ballet "Parallel" propelled the Korean stage dance to the qualitatively new level.

Thanks to the Kazakhstan politics, the contacts with historical motherland of the Korean theatre actors were established. The Korean stage dance rises to the new level thanks to the choreographers of the Korean Republic, who came to Alma-Ata under the Memorandum on cooperation, enclosed in 2013 with the Korean Theatre of Kazakhstan.

Based on the study of Korean traditional dances, existing on the territory of Kazakhstan, Korea and Far East, despite the development of both scenic type of art, with different ideological views, it is possible to assure, that the similarity of aesthetic principles provided typological unity of folk dance in all territories of Korean resettlement, making it the integral phenomenon of national culture.


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