Scenes from “Arirang Party” (photo courtesy of KOCIS)
Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations
between the Republic of Korea and three former Soviet republics (CIS)
are being held throughout this week.
The Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) staged an array of
events that offered a glimpse into the country’s diverse cultural
aspects to the capital cities of Uzbekistan (May 22), Turkmenistan (May
24), and Kazakhstan (May 26) successively.
Starting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on May 22, the production “Arirang
Party” has toured to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (May 24) and Astana,
Kazakhstan (May 26), becoming the undisputable highlight of the
“Arirang Party” is an uplifting non-verbal performance that blends
Korean traditional dance with vibrant drum sounds alongside dynamic
taekwondo and breakdancing moves. The show was performed by a mixed
troupe of dancers, martial artists and percussionists led by
internationally renowned percussionist and artistic director Choi Sori.
“Arirang Party” has been a frequent guest to a number of international
festivals both home and abroad. The colorful composite performing arts
show paraded in the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, garnering favorable
reviews and critical acclaim from the local press. The spectacular act,
which also embellished the Finale Celebration of the 2010 Guangzhou
Asian Games, mesmerized the audiences in the region.
As well, Korea’s signature dishes, Bibimbap -- with which KOCIS Director
Woo Jin-young connoted the characteristics of “Arirang Party” during an
interview with Turkiston Press -- satiated taste buds in Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan. The beloved traditional dish made with rice and a mixture
of various fresh vegetables was served as part of the “One Hundred
Bibimbap Tables” project run by Plus Miners, a four-member group of
nomads who have promoted bibimbap across the globe. Other culinary
plates such as bulgogi (beef in a soy sauce marinade) and japchae
(Korean noodles with sautéed vegetables) were also presented.
Previously, Korea designated 2010 as the Year of Kazakhstan and opened a
Korean Cultural Center in the capital city of Astana, the first of its
kind in the Central Asian region, where it has introduced the nation’s
state-of-the-art technology and culture. As part of the 2010-2011
Kazakhstan-Korea Year project -- initiated by the leaders of the two
states -- last year marked the Year of Korea in Kazakhstan. Full of a
number of bilateral cultural exchanges, the year was embellished with
the Korea Week festival in May. Kazakhstani audiences were particularly
amazed to meet with Song Il-gook, the lead actor in the historical
Korean TV drama Jumong, which was then airing in Kazakhstan, earning
Throughout this year, more cultural exchanges between Korea and CIS
countries are planned. Troupes of artists hailing from Uzbekistan and
Turkmenistan will come to Korea and showcase authentic and unique
cultural performances, whereas Korea brings a royal Hanbok fashion show
to the Turkmen stage at the International Exhibition, Festival
Avaza-2012 slated for September.
Sourced from Korea.net