The State Republican Academic Korean Theater of Musical Comedy never ceases to delight fans of high art with its premieres, presentations, and novelties of the season. I am sure that in the memory of the viewer who was lucky enough to visit the theater last weekend, the choreographic divertissement “Through Generations” will remain among the most colorful performances of Korean academic artists. There were spectators of different generations in the hall, and everyone applauded the artists with undisguised admiration, whose performances were not only bright, spectacular and stylistically consistent in the spirit of that distant time, but at the same time modern for spectators of all nationalities, especially dear and understandable to ethnic Koreans. The artists made the concert informative for those who are just getting to know Korean culture.
On the eve of this amazing meeting of the artists with the audience – the choreographic divertissement “Through Generations”, we approached the director of the theater, Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan Lyubov Avgustovna Ni and asked her to briefly explain what new events happened in the theater.
– Lyubov Avgustovna, the choreographic divertissement was preceded by two consecutive concerts to celebrate Nauryz by the revived group of artists of the Korean theater Premium Ext (both concerts were sold out!) and now …
Nothing that happened was unplanned. Our theater has become academic, and this obliges our team to a lot. I want to note that our creative forces have long been ready for new frontiers. Recently, you know, our actresses Antonina Pyak and Natalya Li received high “Sakhnager” awards and your newspaper reported about this in the last issue. We have artists who can afford to open their own theater studios. I am talking about such high-level masters who have many titles and awards, such as Zoya Kim, Antonina Pyak, Larisa Kim, Georgy Yun and others – those who have grown in their genres to transfer experience and skills to young people and develop further Korean culture in Kazakhstan. This is the strategic task of the theater. So the two concerts that took place in March are only the beginning of the journey.
… On the stage, everything sparkled in amazing rich colors – from white-red to pink, from blue-white to pale blue. On that final evening of March, the dance of the stage masters eloquently told us about many things, in which one could read the unique essence of the Korean soul, and why people call it mysterious. Music that could be heard from the stage was so different, so engulfing and bewitching, sometimes alluring and sometimes making you just think about the mystery of what was happening. There was so much emotion in it, so much sincerity. I wanted to fully understand it and, at least mentally or even in my imagination, echo these rains, these winds, these wonderful spiritual impulses. It seems as if you have already heard all this once a very long time ago. But everything sounded with renewed vigor, in a new light. The program of performances included dance numbers of modern and classical genres: New Year’s lion dance, Hwakwanmu court dance, dance with fans, Salphuri ritual dance, shaman dance, Khalchum knife dance, North Korean choreographic compositions and dances with drums. The leading vocalists and musicians of the theater performed classical works, delighting the sophisticated listener with their voices and the polyphony of musical folk instruments, many of which were brought from South Korea as a gift, which is why they exist only within the walls of the Korean Theater, and are heard during major holidays in the territory all over Kazakhstan.
However, it can be said that the theme of Korean culture literally permeated the entire program of the concert. We are looking back with fascination on that antiquity in which culture was once born. And there is something to be proud of. Just think. Korean culture has been developing and strengthening throughout the history of five millennia and today is considered to be one of the oldest in the world. Therefore, the theme of the concert, chosen and developed by scriptwriters Nadezhda Kim and Evgeny Li, and prepared by choreographers Larisa Kim and Anna Tsoi, is completely simple: “Through generations.” An inescapable love for the origins, an endless appeal to them passes through the generations. The inexhaustibility of the rich heritage again and again surprises and pleases us. Because the theme is always presented in a different light depending on how talented the author is. The latest concert was a vivid confirmation of this. From the very first scene, when the ballet troupe came out to perform the composition “Hieroglyphs” and a concert began with their inscriptions on the screen, it suddenly became clear that it was in the dance that the culture and traditions live. The brush draws the first signs-words, the artists seem to take the stage in unison, and communication begins through the dance. It is no coincidence that people still say: “Dance is the secret language of the soul. It’s not the body that dances, it’s the soul that dances. And we, the audience, saw and felt it. We were captured by the very aura that arose from the first dance with tassels on the stage. How logical and true it is to give the first word to the language raised by the dance. And that’s why. The world remembers how the Dutch linguist Howard Vos called Hangul the most perfect writing system in the world once. As a result of research by Oxford University, out of 30 scripts, Hangul ranked first in originality, scientificity and rationality. And since October 1997, it has been registered with UNESCO as a world heritage. The hosts of the concert Antonina Pyak and Yuri Tsai told us about everything.
Traditional choreographic compositions from the life of the Korean village were emotionally and eloquently conveyed in the nonak peasant dance. And the wonderful solo dance “The Choice” was full of drama and confusion of the soul, and it seems that few people could perform it better than the bright dancer Anastasia Tsoi could. And she performed it, investing in the dance much more than what can be expressed in words. Recently Anastasia has been working on herself a lot, thanks to which she has entered the ranks of artists who are loved in the Korean theater and are called universal. Although, if we talk about Korean folk dance, it is so diverse, and the culture of its performance is so rich that artists who have plunged into this well of spirituality often realize that they have only reached that layer of the culture of the Korean people, which art historians are still studying, finding all new primary sources are in South Korea and then in North. Indeed, despite the fact that the current division of the Korean Peninsula has led to significant differences in the modern culture of both countries, the traditions and customs of the Korean people and the culture of Korea as a whole are the same for both countries. John Seung Min, the Consul General of South Korea in Kazakhstan, who was invited to the concert, also noted this feature of Korean dance with pleasure. The artists were pleased to see Mr. John Seung Min in the auditorium, who, during his stay in Kazakhstan, joined the Korean culture in Kazakhstan and till this day visits performances of the Korean theater with pleasure.
The audience really enjoyed the dance with fans “Buchaechum” performed by the ballet group, where Anel Kogay was the main star. Many witnessed dances they have only heard about before: Khwagwanmu – Elizaveta Tsoi, Mudang chum – Anna Tsoi and Anastasia Tsoi, Salpkhuri – Yulia Tsoi, dance of a village mischievous – Meirambek Azhigaliev, Eltubal sangmo (hat with a long ribbon) – Timur Liang .
When they talk about choreography and dance art in the theater, they mean the name of Larisa Valentinovna Kim, the Dostyk Order of the 2nd degree, laureate of the first national theater award “Sakhneger” in 2017 in the nomination “Best choreographer of the year”. And this is not an exaggeration at all, because all the dancers who delighted us and will continue to delight us with their skills are her students. This wonderful concert is a brilliant work by Larisa Valentinovna. However, talking about dance, the music of rain, wind and other natural phenomena should also be mentioned, as they play an integral part in the day of the celebration of “music in motion”. On the stage we could hear Korean traditional percussion instruments: Quengari, Chango, Puk and Chin. Indeed, the sounds are unearthly! There was so much in them, it seemed as if it was nature itself. From the stage we could hear the inviting howl of the wind, and the measured sound of rain … And there were clouds. The emotional range of Korean music and dance is rich, from sadness to joy. And the whole holiday came to an end with the end of the concert. And although a lot has been said about Korean dance, there is still a lot left to be said. And this is, I believe, the main reason to revisit this theme again. So for those who have yet to visit us and those who already have, I can say: Follow the posters. And as an advertisement I would like to make a very strong case in favor of the great phenomenon that is dance: Music and poetry exist in time, art and architecture in space, but dance lives simultaneously in both time and space.