Ladies getting jiggy on the gayageum

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Ladies getting jiggy on the gayageum


The Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra hopes to revive royal cultural ceremony with next week’s performance. Provided by the organizer

Partying is perhaps one of the oldest traditions in the world.

The royal court of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) also took part in this tradition, with celebrations for different occasions. One such party was Geongsooyeon, which feted longevity.

The Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra will be re-enacting Geongsooyeon with a concert featuring the gayageum, a Korean string instrument, next week in Namsan Hanok Village.

“The program is drawn up based on a study by the orchestra’s director, Song Hye-jin, into historical records of Geongsooyeon,” said organizer Oh Jee-soo. Song is a professor at the Graduate School of Cultural Heritage at Sookmyung Women’s University. “The orchestra hopes to revive the royal culture through their musical performance,” said Oh.

The concert revolves around a queen, who is hosting guests at the ceremony. Park Ae-ri, a star traditional singer who sang on the soundtrack of the popular epic drama “Daejanggeum,” will be playing the queen.

“Our orchestra is from an all-women’s university, so we chose a royal cultural event that highlights the role of the queen,” added Oh. The repertoire hops between the traditional and contemporary, including acts that range from sword dances to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra has been seeking to make the gayageum more accessible with programs including a performance of Pachelbel’s Canon along with beat-boxing B-boys in a 2007 TV commercial.

“The Palace of Spring” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Seoul Namsan Gugakdang near Namsan Hanok Village. Chungmuro subway station, lines No. 3 and 4, exit 4. Tickets cost between 30,000 won ($ 22.65) and 50,000 won. For reservations, call 1544-1555 or visit

By Kim Hyung-eun []
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