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Educational Value and Significance of “Chunhyang” as a Motif in Works of Dance

Choi, Hyun Ju 1 EUNYOUNG JUNG 2

1경희대학교
2경상대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to make a diachronic analysis of recent works of dance with a motif of “"Chunhyang”" in order to shed light on the way of accepting this motif among the choreographers. It’'s basically meant to discuss the value and significance of these works of dance. Chunhyang was a self-respecting character who served but a single husband against all odds instead of merely remaining as a Korean geisha. Serving a single husband only is one of the most fundamental and primitive human needs and what people in general yearn for. Moreover, this figure faced up to the reality dominated by feudalism and sought after love, faith and human dignity. The story of Chunhyang has been interpreted from various angles in works of dance thanks to such characteristics of this character. Even though works of dance that deal with this character as a motif make use of the same theme and the same subject matters, there may be great disparities among the works according to choreographers thanks to the limitless possibility of adaptation. In case choreographers work on the same scene, some may describe her as a virtuous woman who loves a man only, and others may focus on her emotion and try to visualize the emotion of longing. In dance, acceptance of a classic is regarded as a product of intertextuality that is created through the conversational relationship between the text of the past and the receiver of the present. Choreographers read classics of the past as receivers, and they interpret them in their own way and adapt them as active enjoyers. The educational value of works of dance that chose Chunhyang as a motif could be described as follows: First, these works describe the courage to resist injustice. Second, these works show how to overcome trials with endurance. Third, these works show how the character builds up her progressive self. Finally, these works enable viewers to feel the nature of human life though they cover a simple story of love, separation, overcoming hardships and compensation. Indeed, this classic has continued to be reinterpreted and recreated as part of cultural heritage, and viewers of different ages are likely to have a strong bond with one another, though they don’'t belong to the same age. This can be called inheritance of tradition, and it can be said in this sense that works of dance whose motif is Chunhyang make an attempt to inherit tradition in a creative manner or to converse with tradition.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.