The KPAC18th Annual Concert 2012

Spirits, Nature and Heaven”, “하늘과 자연, 그리고 영혼”

Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 8:00PM
Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025)

Featuring Exceptional Korean Performing Artists,
NEA National Heritage Fellow Sue Yeon Park
Jang Jae Hyo & the Sonagi Project

Performance Overview

The Korean Performing Arts Center (Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association) proudly presents its 18th annual concert, “Spirits, Nature and Heaven.” The show features New York’s two exceptional Korean performing artists, Sue Yeon Park (Korean dance master & national heritage fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts) and Jang Jae Hyo & the Sonagi Project (Korean traditional percussion ensemble). The main purpose of this annual concert is to showcase Korean art in its many forms and spread awareness of the art throughout NYC. The theme of this concert is based on shamanism and will focus on the important role of storytelling by religious specialists. While the performance of the Sounds of Korea is a much more traditional expression of the shamanistic world, the performance from Sonagi Project reinterprets this tradition. This concert will provide an opportunity for others to draw emotion and energy from and view Korean traditional music and dance, linking Korea’s values and past to the contemporary world stage.

The concert will begin with the performance of Minyo Medley (Gayageum Ensemble), featuring students from the KPAC workshops offered to Americans eager to learn about Korean culture. The group of Sounds of Korea will present Seungcheonmu, a dance of the spirit ascending to heaven. This dance is a sort of Ssitgim Gut or exorcism, a ceremony where shamans cleanse others from the negative of the dead and send them to paradise. Seungcheonmu, the dance, will be performed together with Gyeonggi Dodang Gut, music, by Sonagi Project. Finally, Sonagi Project will introduce new compositions based on Korean rhythms and chants. These new compositions will draw from the instrumental and vocal art of Pansori, including the artworks of Mun Gut, Doong Dang Gi Taryeong, and Pungmul.

Tickets Information

Contact Information

Korean Performing Arts Center

Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association & Korean Performing Arts Center

Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association (KTPAA) was founded in 1986 as the Korean Traditional Arts Community. With growing community support, the association adopted its current name, Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association in 1990. In 1993, KTPAA was formally recognized by the State of New York as a non-profit organization. Since 1998, KTPAA has received annual grants from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The organization serves a vital role in New York City through the teaching of traditional arts to members of the Korean community, and through performances for both Korean and general audiences. KTPAA has played an instrumental role in instilling Korean cultural pride to second generation Korean Americans and in fostering intercultural dialogue with the American society at large. In 2010, KTPAA opened its studio, Korean Performing Arts Center, near Korean Town in Midtown Manhattan to get closer to the Korean community.  KPAC is a home for the company, has rehearsal space for the artists, outreach programs for local audiences, and a school that offers music and dance classes to students of all ages.

Sounds of Korea is the New York-based KTPAA consists of a Dance Troupe, an Instrumental Chamber Ensemble and a Percussion Ensemble. Korean performance art spans a wide range of styles and settings, from classical court music and theatrical masked dance, to popular story-telling songs, drama and folk percussion and dance. Under the direction of dancer Sue Yeon Park, the organization has performed nearly all of these forms at major concert venues, and has introduced Korean music and dance to a wide array of audiences. Its members consist of professionals and individuals from the Korean community who are dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and appreciation of Korea’s artistic heritage and history.

Artistic Director, Sue Yeon Park

The director of the Sounds of Korea show, Sue Yeon Park, is one of the foremost Korean artists in the United States today. As a dancer, she was trained under Master Yi Mae Bang, one of South Korea’s Living National Treasures.  She has obtained the prestigious title of yisuja, which designates her mastery at the highest level of Master Yi’s performance lineage of Salpuri-chum. She also holds the yisuja title of distinction for the preservation of Seungmu. Sue Yeon Park performs extensively in the US, Europe and South Korea. In her long-time affiliation with the KTPAA,she has been an instrumental leader and teacher and has served as the president and artistic director for the last six years. She has produced and presented at such prestigious venues as the Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Natural History. She has given guest master classes and adjudicates for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) annual competition since 2004. She is a recipient of the New York Governor’s “Award of Excellence” in recognition of her outstanding achievements and community service to the Empire State, “Best Artist of the Year” Award from the Foundation for Korean Arts and Culture in Korea, and the “Award of Recognition and Appreciation” from Asian American Cultural Center at Rutgers University for her dedication to Korean art and music. In 2008, Sue Yeon Park was named as a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. She received this honor as a Korean musician and dancer in recognition of her work for nearly three decades, bringing traditional Korean arts to American audiences. She is the first KoreanAmerican artist to receive this honor.

Sonagi Project

Sonagi Project is a Korean percussion ensemble that draws from traditional sources to create new, dynamic Korean music. Founded in 2006 by current artistic director Chang Jae Hyo, the group performs on traditional Korean percussion instruments, with a special focus on the Janggu, the horizontal double-headed drum that has been integral to many genres of Korean. Other instruments include the Ggwaengwari (small gong), Jing (medium-sized gong), and Dungbuk (modified barrel drum). The group breathes new life into Korea’s traditional drumming as it brings these instruments into the twenty-first century, performing traditionally-based yet original repertoire for contemporary audiences, both domestically and abroad.

Sonagi Project creates music informed by various traditional genres. Influences include Pungmul gut (farmers’ percussion band ritual), Samulnori (modern percussion quartet), and Pansori (traditional vocal art of storytelling) genres that have roots in Korea’s indigenous shamanic culture; the group also incorporates Jeontong minyo(traditional folk songs) as well as elements of Buddhist music. Building on traditional forms to give their music a contemporary sensibility, Sonagi Project takes liberties with certain techniques and rhythms, and at times embraces outside sources. Some of their original works contain African and Brazilian influences, yet their music preserves the sentiment, emotion, and spirit of Korean tradition. The group is based in Seoul, South Korea, and has performed in North and South America, Europe and East Asia, to popular and critical acclaim. They are a leader of Korean music among a new generation of artists and performers that continue to engage in cultural exchange, and are a vibrant force in the world music scene that now flourishes around the globe.

Sonagi Project

Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association (Korean Performing Arts Center) receives support from New York State Council of the Arts, Korean Cultural Service New York, the Korean Channel, Center for Traditional Music and Dance, the Korea Times, Rutgers Korean Cultural Group Alumni Association, and Camp Friendship Korea.