KCC in Cairo marks its 10th anniversary with a hybrid Korean culture week

Reham El-Adawi , Sunday 19 May 2024

‘K-Movement’, a hybrid Korean culture week, kicked off on Saturday 18 May at the Cairo Opera House's Open-Air Theatre.

Culture Minister Neveen El-Kilani, Korean ambassador Kim Yonghyon, Australian ambassador and their wives with performers of Ulsuu, Earth show


On this occasion, the Korean ambassador to Egypt Kim Yonghyon pointed out that the ‘K-Movement’ Culture Week with its various activities promotes modern and traditional Korean culture and art among Egyptians.

This year’s edition of the Korea Culture Week marks the 10th anniversary of the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) in Egypt. From 18 to 24 May, the audience will be able to enjoy and immerse in the diverse and captivating aspects of Korean culture and explore glimpses of South Korea’s best dance, music, and arts. 

The opening ceremony took place at the Open-Air theatre in the presence of Minister of Culture Neveen El-Kilani, Korean Ambassador to Egypt Kim Yonghyon, Ambassador Omar Selim, Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Affairs, Ambassador Ahmed Shaheen, Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs, Japanese ambassador to Egypt Oka Hiroshi, Australian Ambassador Axel Wabenhorst, his Lithuanian counterpart Arturas Gailiunas, and the Director of the Cairo Opera House Lamiaa Zayed.

Ambassador Omar Selim, Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Affairs   (photo credit of the KCC in Cairo)


Korean ambassador Kim Yonghyon delivered the inaugural speech and highlighted the importance of the ‘K-Movement’ Culture Week in promoting Korean culture and art among Egyptians. He promised that the upcoming days would witness rich cultural exchange and cooperation between the two countries. He also agreed with the Egyptian culture minister to launch a Korea-Egyptian culture week.

For her part, El-Kilani expressed her satisfaction with the organization of Korean Culture Week in Egypt and welcomed the Korean artists who came to perform their shows in Egypt.

"The ‘K-Movement’ Culture Week enables the Egyptian audience, particularly the youth, to enjoy the traditional and contemporary Korean art," she said.


Korean popular modern dance group Goblin Party performs at the Cairo Opera House's Open-Air Theatre


Similarly, Ambassador Selim praised KCC's role in reinforcing the cultural ties between the two nations, and the role of the Cairo Opera House in this respect. He also stressed the importance of spreading the culture of peace among people worldwide.

The Korea Culture Week is a comprehensive cultural event organized by the KCC in Egypt. The opening featured a performance titled ‘Ulsuu, Earth,’ which showcased various dances from different countries through b-boying techniques and modern dance styles. Inspired by diverse dance genres that blend traditional and contemporary dances, Goblin Party, a popular Korean modern dance group, shared the stage with Gamblerz Crew, a Korean b-boy crew, and Egyptian percussionist Sameh. 

With a firm belief that dance is a universal language transcending cultures and languages, the two groups enjoy travelling worldwide to pursue their passion for learning new dance styles. 

They invent their own dance styles, influenced by a diverse range of world-class dances. Street dancers Gamblerz Crew and modern dancers Goblin Party entertain domestic and international audiences with different dances that infuse the Korean spirit. The concert showcased diverse styles of dances, such as the Egyptian Tutting Dance, which is mostly influenced by the ancient Egyptian civilization. The performances also included romantic 'Marinera,' performed by couples in Peru, and the powerful ‘'Haka '' of the Maori people from New Zealand.  

Founded in 2007, the Goblin Party dance group includes artists who can choreograph and dance. Since its foundation in 2002, the group has achieved multiple victories at Battle of the Year -- one of the world's top four b-boying competitions -- held in Germany. 

As part of Korea Culture Week, an exhibition is held on 18 and 24 May at the Opera's Open-Air Theatre for Korea's traditional masked dance (also known as ‘Talchum’). The masks and the dance were registered as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2022.

In addition, on 19 and 23 May, the KCC will organize at its headquarters in Dokki interactive workshops, where participants can create their own masks under the supervision of two Korean instructors. 

The Korean Traditional Mask Dance, ‘Talchum’, combines Korean history, tradition, faith, and folk elements. Korea’s Talchum is a comprehensive artistic performance encompassing dance, singing, and theatre.

Dancers wear masks of people, ghosts, and animals and exchange cheers with the audience as they satirize and criticize the world. Nowadays, it is considered a long-standing part of folk culture and is performed in many areas throughout Korea.

Furthermore, the festival will feature a preliminary qualification round, where aspiring K-Pop Egyptian enthusiasts could have a chance to showcase their talents and compete for a spot in the K-pop World Festival finals in Changwon, Korea.

The closing ceremony of the ‘K-Movement’ week promises to be vibrant and captivating, featuring the K-Pop World Festival, an annual K-pop talent competition organized by South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, KBS, and Korea's overseas diplomatic missions. 

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