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Friday, 21 June 2019

Breakdance, puppets and sand art: Korean artists perform in Cairo

A Korean b-boy troupe and a sand artist performed as part of the Korean-Arab Friendship Caravan

Fatma Khaled , Tuesday 25 Apr 2017
Expression Crew
Expression Crew (Korea) ( Photo: by Bassam Alzoghby)
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A Korean b-boying dance crew and a sand artist put on a show outside the Cairo Opera House on Monday, as part of the Korea-Arab Friendship Caravan.

In the opening speech, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Egypt Yoon Soon-Gu, explained that the performance is a creative storytelling show that targets audiences of all ages.

The show opened with a 20-minute sand art segment by artist Kim Ha-jun, an artist with 26 years of experience in this genre.

Creating patterns and pictures in sand on a lit panel, Kim drew the cycle of life to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber.

He displayed the relationship between nature and humans and stages of life: from a newborn baby who grows up to be a girl, then a young lady who falls in love, a woman who becomes a wife and a mother who grows old and eventually dies hence returns back to the nature. The circle emphasised that humans are from nature and return to nature in the end.

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Sand Artist Kim Ha Jun (Photo: Bassam Alzoghby)

According to Kim, the aim behind the sketches is to remind people to fill their lives with joy and happiness in the short time they’re given in life.

“I wanted to express the strong relation between nature and human life and that nature is greater in concept than humans, therefore their relation together is important,” Kim told Ahram Online following the show.

He explained that this type of art can be easily integrated into any culture and is able to access all types of audiences with simple comprehended messages about life.

“Human emotions and obstacles are a common aspect among the world’s different cultures and sand art is one of the simplest forms that express these emotions,” he added.

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Sand Artist Kim Ha Jun (Photo: Fatma Khaled)

The sand art show was followed by a performance by Expression Crew, a Korean b-boy (breakdance) crew, who performed three scenes from a story titled The Marionette Puppet Theatre.

The crew is comprised of eight young masked dancers, and won the “Battle of the Year” b-boying championship in Germany 2002.

The performance was accompanied by music by French composer Yann Tiersen.

Expression Crew
Expression Crew (Korea) (Photo: Bassam Alzoghby)

The story revolves around a puppeteer who lives a happy life, performing with his puppets in a remote village. One day a wizard comes and destroys the show by cutting the strings of the marionettes and bringing them to life.

The second scene displays love and affection shared between a young woman who fell in love with a marionette, while the third scene revolves around the villagers who were impressed by the wizard and gave him the theatre.

Expression Crew
Expression Crew (Korea) (Photo: Bassam Alzoghby)

The puppeteer, who dwells in sadness, performs his last show with the marionettes as they sing with joy and bitterness before handing the theatre to the wizard.

Based on quotes that were displayed on the screen as the performers dance, the morale behind the show seeks to emphasise concepts such as tyranny, freedom, love, and death through the relation between the puppeteer, his marionettes, and the wizard.

Expression Crew
Expression Crew (Korea) (Photo: Bassam Alzoghby)

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