Korean performing arts group “GongMyoung” and breakdance b-boy crew “Gorilla” performing at the at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College auditorium last Saturday night, May 18.
May 24, 2019
Soul Beat Korea in exciting show at SVGCC auditorium (+Video)

The performing artists on stage at last weekend’s cultural show “Soul Beat Korea” strummed the heartstrings of their audience just as deftly as they played their respective instruments.

This much was obvious from the immediate reactions of an engaged audience at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College auditorium last Saturday night, May 18.

The general sentiment felt overall was expressed by 12-year-old Diamond resident, Caleb Morris, who was picked to join Korean performing arts group “GongMyoung” on stage, and who said the show was “great.”

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to SVG, Sung Moon-Up

Morris had broken down using some modern dance moves to the traditional drumming and flute beats, including using the move ‘flossing’ made viral in 2018 by ‘the backpack kid’ to the cheers of the audience. Morris said he had a “lot of fun” and liked the break dancing b-boy crew “Gorilla” the most.

The show, hosted by the South Korean embassy to commemorate 40 years of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was seamlessly executed between the artists and the technical staff, which totaled to 22 persons.

There was no break in the entertainment for the audience, which had filed in to fill most of two theatres at the college.

Minister of Tourism and Culture, Cecil McKie could not pick a favourite performance at the end of the show when he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, commenting that it should be repeated for the “41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th and 45th!” years celebrating diplomatic relations between the ROK and SVG.

The show kicked off with traditional dancing, and Korean dancer Su Ji Jang walked on stage to dim lights and ethereal beats. Moving slowly she capitalized every movement, and manipulated her long robes to the music.

Taking the baton was “GongMyung” who served as the steady musical base on which much of the show was built on. Joined intermittently by Ji Hyun Lee on the gayageum (zither-like string instrument), Noddy Woo on the bass and Soo Hyun Jang with the violin; “Gongmyoung” moved between drums, guitar, chimes, different wind and bamboo instruments, and different genres, without breaking a sweat.

Even when the guitar string broke, one of the members switched quickly to comedy to fill the gap.

Ambassador of the ROK to SVG, Sung Moon-Up, informed that there were 52 different instruments on the stage, while lauding the musicians, saying, “They are a genius and masters of making unique sound.”

The audience seemed most taken by the moment when one musician blew a horn-like instrument for such a long time that it seemed humanly impossible. They were also impressed after a flute was made using an iron pipe, drill, saw and flower, and then played on stage.

When the “Gorilla” crew overtook the stage, two members popped and locked, and moon walked across the stage to the traditional music, before their other members flipped onto the stage to freeze, windmill, and do headspins to thrill the audience.

“I’m into dancing and I like my break dancing, and it surprised me because you don’t think that they will be into break dancing, so I glad that they’ve incorporated some Caribbean culture and claimed it,” a woman commented after the show, describing it as “really fun.”

“Soul Beat Korea” is the first of two cultural experiences which are to take place to commemorate the 40th anniversary. The Ambassador has announced that on a date later this year, they will be showing select Korean films to the public.