I have to apologize, this is going to be a long post with lots and lots of pictures! Luckily, you can click the picture and it will open it up much larger, if you would like to see better details. Just click the "Back" button to return to the blog.
This past weekend Laura and I went to Andong's Hahoe Folk Village for a Mask Dance Festival. The village is a beautiful and set in the mountains.
Hahoe is notable because it features preserved Joseon Dynasty architecture.
The first performance was a traditional Korean dance, which was similar to a play - the characters had masks on but microphones underneath. It seemed like it was supposed to be funny, as everyone was laughing, but it was entirely in Korean.
The masks are rather simple, but have very exaggerated facial expressions.
The next two performances were drum ensembles. They were younger students, and very talented. The video below is the older group, six girls and two boys.
After performances with masks, it was interesting to see the young students perform with the masks pulled up on their heads. I could see their concentration and fear easily, but they did wonderfully.
Next was a Thai group; it is an international festival. The rest of the pictures will be from their company. I didn't stay long enough to see the next group, which was Malaysian.
As far as I could tell, the focus was primarily on subtle movements of the hand and feet, rather than rhythmic movements one imagines when they think of African traditional dances. It was all quite precise, and technically impressive.
These guys were awesome! When I go to Thailand (with Tricia, Mom, and Dad) I hope we can see some of these performances while we are there.
Laura and I met with them after and got some pictures with the Thai performers. Laura actually bought a wooden sword and battled one of the guys! haha!
I love the totem poles in Korea. I am still on the hunt for miniature ones that I can get as a souvenir, for now I will settle with my two Korean masks.