NIHC Presents Traditional Performance of Three Asian Countries

Main Poster © NIHC

The National Intangible Heritage Center (NIHC) will present traditional performances on 4 and 5 August 2017 in Jeonju, Korea where the center is currently located. Dubbed as “Three Countries, Three Colors”, practitioners of Chinese, Mongolian, and Japanese ICH inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity will grace the two-day event with performances divided into six sections, all raising the theme of “Performing Arts of Asia”.

On 4 August, the first day of the performances, traditional Chinese performance will welcome the audience. The performers will feature the following: the guqin, a major stringed instrument of China; nanyin, China’s musical performing art; and kunqu of Suzhou, which is one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera. Nanyin represents the musical art that reflects the culture of the Minnan people in the southeastern province of Fujian and overseas. A nanyin performance involves dongxiao (a bamboo flute) and pipa (a crooked-neck lute played horizontally). During the kunqu performance, a popular play “The Peony Pavilion” will be performed by renowned top-level actors in China, Li Gong-lu and Zhang Zhi-hong.

On 5 August, traditional Mongolian and Japanese performances will be showcased. The Mongolian performances will feature the following: khoomei, a unique Mongolian art of singing; urtiin duu, a traditional Mongolian folk long song jointly listed with China on the Representative List; the morin khuur, a distinctive traditional bowed stringed instrument originating from nomadic life; and biyelgee, a traditional folk dance. A number of well-known Mongolian ICH practitioners, including Ts. Tserendorj, a celebrity actor who received a national order of merit, will appear on stage. The Japanese performances will feature shushin kaneiri, considered the most important piece of kumiodori, a traditional performing art found on the Royal Court of Okinawa islands. Kumiodori has evolved by integrating traditional music and dance of the local area and traditional performances of the Japanese mainland as well as various traditional theatrical elements of China. The upcoming performances will be joined by the National Theatre Okinawa for the first time in Korea while Kishun Nishie, a designated Living Human Treasure, will show the essence of kumiodori.

NIHC will invite Prof. Piao Enyu (China) of Hoseo University, Prof. Park So Hyun (Mongolia) of Yeungnam University, and Prof. Lee Ji Sun (Japan) of Sookmyung Women’s University to give special lectures prior to the opening of each performance. They will provide the audience with various stories and detailed information about traditional music of the three countries.