Korean troupes go on tour to celebrate 50-year friendship with Canada

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Canada, Korea’s performing arts troupes have been on tour in four of Canada’s major cities -- Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver. 

During this tour which kicked off on June 28 at Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto, seven traditional performance teams from Korea brought out all they had -- their talents for dancing and singing -- to commemorate the 50-year friendship between the two nations. 

The Gwangdae, a traditional performance group from Korea, performs the traditional Korean game “beona nori” (plate-spinning) on Canada Day, July 1, in Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa.

The Namhae Byeolsingut Preservation Society brought onto stage Namhae Byeolsingut, designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 82, while The Gwangdae introduced Canadians to a Korean style of unique melodies and dance with sajanori (lion dance) and sogonori (playing with small hand-held drums). 

On June 29, Korean classical musician Lee Jeong-pyo (left) shows off her crossover works which combine gugak (traditional Korean music) with jazz during a congratulatory event for the two nations’ 50-year friendship held in Centrepointe Theatre, Ottawa on June 29.

And a stunning ensemble of gugak and jazz, b-boying and the Korean martial art taekwondo added more thrills to the already exhilarated Canadian audience. 

After the two Toronto and Ottawa shows on June 28 and 29, the Korean team will travel to Montreal and then go further west to Vancouver for July 5 and 8 performances. 

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1963, Korea and Canada have been expanding cooperation in many aspects ranging from economy and culture to exchanges of human resources. 

Last December, Canadian Prime Minister declared 2013 as the Year of Korea in Canada.

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