The Kahoi Dong Festival

September 17th 2006

한국어 번역 - 클릭

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All too often, our only opportunties today to witness Korea's traditional performing arts are in stage performances at concert halls and cultural centres. Though enjoyable, interesting, and even exhilarating such events usually take place outside their original cultural contexts in a modern void.

At the same time, when we visit such wonderful historical sites as the Changdeokgung, we see only empty buildings devoid of the life that once filled them and hear only the sounds of guides and guards asking us to keep up with the group and not to stray.

One of the the aims of The Kahoi-Dong Festival which took place in my home on September 17th was to place traditional performances in the intimate traditional setting of a hanok and explore the resonance of their interaction, together with family and friends from Korea, the UK, Canada, and Austria.

There was also another purpose. Many traditional performing arts had their roles in rituals and religion, as well as being acts of celebration or entertainment.

Cast your imagination to a world where man was more intimately connected to the natural world than he his today. Reflect on how, for centuries, Koreans used to build their homes so that they nestled into the natural landscape without unduly disturbing it. In this almost forgotten world, music, vocal arts, dance, and calligraphy could all be acts of communion with the many planes of a mysterious and natural world and help people navigate their own lives in harmony with the cosmos.

And so, the festival was also designed as an act of prayer. A prayer that the traditional values should not be wholly eclipsed in the modern world; that there would still be an opportunity for the hanoks of Kahoi-Dong to survive.

After three years of - so far - endlessly frustrating struggles with the shameless politicians and devious bureaucrats of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Chongro-gu, and the GNP, it was refreshing and encouraging that so many wonderfully creative artists would volunteer their services for this festival. It is always encouraging to meet Koreans who know there is more to life than land values, and shun illicit schemes to destroy things of beauty in order to inflate land prices.

David Kilburn
18th September 2006

Read what the Korea Times said (Click) . . . . . . . . ............... . . . . . . . . .. . .
Dramatis Personae (see below)

Photo album (Click)

Kahoi-dong Festival views

Dramatis Personae
Korean Poetry Recital by Mr. Lee Chun-Woo, who has written a special poem for the occasion
Korean flute ("Daegum") Recital by Mr. Kang Sung-Se
Korean Folk Song singing by Mr. Lee Jang-Hak
Korean Poetry Recital by Ms. Park Jong-Soon, who also has written a special poem for the occasion
Guitar Music by Professor Song Hyung-Ik
Guitar Music by Professor Park Jong-Hwa
Spirit Dancing by Mrs Lee Ki-Sun
Large Scale Calligraphy by Professor Kwon Sang-Ho
Incidental music by the Samulnori Group.....

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