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Ch'unaengjŏn (Nightingale Dance), A Korean Court Dance

  • Il-Ji Moon

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Ch'unaengjŏn, literally meaning “Spring Nightingale Dance,” is a Korean court dance performed by a single dancer. Most Korean court dances, however, are performed by a group of dancers, not by an individual. It is told that the Nightingale Dance was made by Prince Ikchong during the reign of King Sunjo (1800–1834), inspired by a nightingale on a tree in springtime. According to the Royal Banquet Manual (Chinch'an ŭigwe) of 1848, however, Ch'unaengjŏn was created in 1469, and it therefore seems that this earlier dance was rearranged and completed by Ikchong.

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1. Chang Sa-hun, “Chŏngjae ch'angsa kwan'gyu” (Recitation of Chinese Poems by the Dancers in Court Dance), in his Kugak non'go (Studies of Korean Music) (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 1966), pp. 420452.

2. The Royal Banquet Manual of 1828 was published in facsimile in 1980 as Volume III of the series Han'guk ŭmakhak charyo Ch'ongsŏ (Source Materials for Korean Musicology) from National Classical Music Institute. Ch'unaengjŏn is described in Chapter 1, p. 22b.

3. Facsimile editions in Han'guk ŭmakhak charyo ch'ongsŏ, III (1980) and VI (1981).

4. Facsimile edition in Han'guk ŭmakhak charyo ch'ongsŏ, IV (1980), esp. pp. 165166.

Ch'unaengjŏn (Nightingale Dance), A Korean Court Dance

  • Il-Ji Moon

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