Korean Drum Dance

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Korean Drum Dance

 

This dance is performed with the long, slim Janggo drum of Korea slung across the shoulder. Few Korean dances call for techniques more elaborate and acrobatic than this dance. Therefore, it may best be described as a series of acrobatic movements, demonstrating skill in drumming. The Janggo drum used for this dance was said to be first introduced to Korea from China during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392); accordingly, the acrobatic beauty and techniques exhibited in this dance are Chinese in nature.

It is believed that the introduction of the Janggo drum added color and variety to Korean dancing, for the monotonous rhythms of previous dance became more subtle in the latter-day dances through incorporation of the Janggo into the original music.

The left side of this drum is covered with calf skin, while the right side is made of horse skin so that the former may sound low notes and the latter high. The low notes insinuate the gentle and slow but steady nature of the calf while the high notes suggest the nimble movements of the horse. In recent years, the role of the Janggo in this dance has been relegated to a secondary place, the dance itself becoming the dominating factor.

Another sign if scant contribution of the Cagug-jco has been that the poroussion instrument encouraged impromptu execution in all Korean dances, for drum beating drove everybody to unique "shoulder movements".

 

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