Dancer Jeongsoo Lee spreads unique Hunryeongmu to the world over Korea

천서영 기자l승인2019.10.24

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▲ Jeongsoo Lee / Director of Jaengi Dain and of Namjae Song Jun Young Dance Preservation Society

Dance is one of the oldest arts of human beings. Like we feel a sense of freedom by watching birds fluttering their wings or petals blowing away, dance captivates us with peaceful yet dynamic movement of our body. Jeongsoo Lee, Director of Jaengi Dain and of Namjae Song Jun Young Dance Preservation Society, is a veteran dancer whose movement of body and choreography are well recognized as artistic and creative among the specialists in the field. Currently, he is working on listing a military general dance (Hunryeongmu) in cultural assets of South Korea. 

Creative arrangement and choreography
‘Jaengi’ means ‘a person doing it’ in Korean. Jaengi Dain is an organization where dancers gathered together to organize and give dance performances. “In fact, people specialized in choreography, directing, costume, lighting, stage, photography, video and above all dancing are those who drive Jaengi Dain forward” explains Lee.

Another fact is that Lee has melted his 40 years of experience and personal connections in the field into Jaengi Dain since 1991. He has served as a chief choreographer at Samsung Dance Company for 20 years, as the director of choreography for the eve of the Korea-Japan World Cup 2002, for the eve of the Asian Games Busan 2002, for the presidential inauguration 2008 and for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Yeosu Expo 2012. 

He also directed and choreographed <Spirit of Biyeon) 2004, <Morning of Expire> 2011, <Sorrow of Hu> 2013 and <Jukbyeok Jiae> 2015. Meanwhile, the recent work <Better Dancers than Flowers> is being staged until November this year sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as the Korea Cultural & Arts Centers Association, alongside <Honam Women Myeongmujeon> sponsored by the Jeonnam Tourism and Culture Foundation and the Gwangju Cultural Foundation. 

Lee focuses on uncomplicated story with flashy techniques of video and music and catch movement of body to attract attention of the audience. It is Lee’s goal to promote these Korean dance performances to the level of global Broadway musicals. 

Passing down tradition and honor
Lee learned dance under the instructions of Sangjun Lee (deceased), Junyoung Song (deceased: often called Namjae who found Hunryeongmu) and Jaeman Jeong (deceased). He learned the basic from Sangjun Lee, ‘salpuri (exorcism) dance’, ‘sunbi (scholar) dance’ and ‘taepyeongmu (peace) dance’ from Jaeman Jeong, and ‘hunryeongmu’ from Junyoung Song: he is in charge of the Namjae Song Jun Young Dance Preservation Society and has held memorial performance for 3 years (this year on 28th September). 

“I’m honored to be instructed by three great dancers and it makes my heart ache losing them. But that makes me more determined to spread their spirit and unique movement to more people not only in South Korea but in the world.”


천서영 기자  yesyounglife@naver.com
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