Part 2: Cheoyongmu
Premiere: Friday, June 26th, 2020
(Video is available to view afterwards)
In our efforts to continue to offer audiences the opportunity to stay connected and find a source of comfort through music, the Korean Cultural Center New York is launching an online performance and talk program, “Connecting with Korea through the Traditional Arts.” In this limited series, we will be featuring online screenings of performances by the National Gugak Center along with an insightful introductory commentary on the musical background and historical context of the performances with key points of interest to note by an expert in the traditional arts.
For June, in our ongoing message of peace , join us in learning about cheoyongmu, a uniquely Korean cultural heritage that has been designated by UNESCO in 2009 to be inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Cheoyongmu is one of the oldest indigenous dances of Korea, representative of a hope for peace and performed to ward off evil spirits; the dance incorporates movement, costumes, and song to create positive energy. The dance even closes with the dancers singing a final part of the song, very roughly translated: “May we all live peacefully in a wisely-ruled land!”
The cheoyongmu performance will be hosted and special commentary provided by Dr. Hilary Vanessa Finchum-Sung, a specialist in Korean music theory and performance practice. An ethnomusicologist by trade, Dr. Finchum-Sung spent a decade in Korea where she was the first and only non-Korean to have served as faculty in a Department of Korean Music at Seoul National University. She is currently the Executive Director of the Association for Asian Studies and a Nam Center for Korean Studies Associate at the University of Michigan.
This launch is presented as a part of the KCCNY’s “Experience Korean Cultural Center Online” initiative, a comprehensive online platform that brings together world-class performances and diverse cultural contents from the KCCNY and from various branches of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
About the Speaker
Hilary Vanessa Finchum-Sung (Ph.D. Indiana University) is a specialist in Korean music theory and performance practice. Her academic training is in both ethnomusicology and East Asian Studies. An ethnomusicologist by trade, Finchum-Sung spent a decade in the Republic of Korea where she made history as the first and only non-Korean to have served as faculty in a Department of Korean Music. She has published in academic journals such as Ethnomusicology, the world of music (new series), Seoul Journal of Korean Studies and Acta Koreana. Her research interests include sustainable folk music practice, women and performance, and globalization of Korean music. As Associate Professor of Korean Music Theory and Ethnomusicology at Seoul National University’s College of Music, she taught classes on Korean music and culture as well as music of the world and ethnomusicology. Fluent in Korean, she has also made musical fluency a priority in her ethnomusicological practice as a performer on the two-string fiddle, haegeum. Finchum-Sung is currently the Executive Director of the Association for Asian Studies and a Nam Center for Korean Studies Associate at the University of Michigan.