The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th

Dance Company to share Korean culture at Memorial Hall

The music, song and dance of the Korean peninsula will fill the stage of Memorial Hall tonight.

The Carolina Performing Arts series will present “Dynamic Korea: Dance and Song,” bringing the Chae Hyang Soon Dance Company to perform its iteration of traditional Korean dance with a contemporary twist.

Emil Kang, executive director for the arts, noted the significance of this performance.

“It’s actually the first native Korean group to the CPA series,” said Kang. “So this is long overdue.

As a Korean-American, Kang said he hopes to advance awareness of Korean culture in America.

“Being amongst the first generation of Koreans born in America, I feel a sense of responsibility and a great obligation to pass on our identity and heritage to the next generation,” Kang said.

When Kang and his office learned of the Korea Society’s cultural dance and song tour, they quickly arranged to bring that tour to Memorial Hall.

For Kang, part of that understanding will come from his personal knowledge of the subject. Kang led a talk Monday night as a part of the Honors Arts and Dialogue Program, a speaker series that highlights themes and issues in Memorial Hall performances.

“In some ways, I wish we could have Emil give a talk before every performance,” said Aaron Shackelford, who is heading the program. “He’s just amazing at understanding what’s going on in the art world.”

Kang grew up with Korean art forms, learning about dance each week and watching his relatives perform, he said.

Sean McKeithan, marketing and communications coordinator for Carolina Performing Arts, said this kind of diversity is key for the Memorial Hall season.

“It’s really important to present a spectrum so that we can appeal to different audiences and experience different types of performances under one roof,” McKeithan said.

Ultimately, Kang said he appreciates what the performance can mean for the campus community.

“Wherever it comes from, art should be living and always reinterpreted,” he said. “Something that can be relived from generation to generation.”

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