Korean Cultural Night dazzles the community

The crowd clapped and whooped and shouted 'Bravo!': Special evening offered everything from dancing to feasting to Taekwondo


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Photos



  • A perfect Korean fan dance (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Vocalist Kyungsook Han (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Members of the community band Pungmulnori pose after their performance (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Leekyung Kang plays the haeguem (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • The Jindo Drum Dance (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Members of Chosun Taekwondo Academy in Warwick (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Keith and Kathy Carpentier with son Ty (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • The fan dancers (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • (Photo by Ginny Privitar)




  • Pastor Hong and wife Gyonghui Kim (Photo by Ginny Privitar)



The Rev. Hong said the evening was a “first time for us and fantastic. Thank you all and thank you, God.”


By Ginny Privitar

— It was a feast for the senses — beautiful costumes, swirling dancers, haunting music, and throbbing drums. All were part of Korean Cultural Night held on Sunday evening, Oct. 7, at the Korean Methodist Church of Hudson Valley in Chester.

This was a free program, open to the public, celebrating Korean culture. Besides the performers, several members of the congregation wore traditional Korean dress. The women donned beautiful embroidered silk hanboks.

The congregation, which shares building space with the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street, hopes to make Korean Cultural Night an annual event.

The pastor, The Rev. Yunsun (Moses) Hong, and Village of Chester Mayor John "Tommy" Bell addressed the audience. The MCs for the evening were James Chung and Jennifer Zhao.

The first act, a traditional Korean fan dance, was stunning. The colorfully costumed dancers from the Hea Sun Jung Korean Traditional Arts Academy in New Jersey gave a mesmerizing performance, swirling large fans in multiple arrangements, both moving and still, that evoked a garden of flowers. Later they performed the Jindo Drum Dance in perfect unison.

Song Eun Shin gave a masterful performance on the gayageum, a 25-string zither-like traditional Korean instrument that produced an amazing range of notes in a haunting melody. Later she joined Leekyung Kang, who also played a traditional stringed instrument, the haeguem, which could produce sounds reminiscent of the human voice in song.

The audience clapped enthusiastically, whooped, and shouted "Bravo!"

Master Doug Cook of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy in Warwick led his student volunteers in an impressive demonstration of the martial art and explained its cultural aspects.

Vocalist Kyungsook Han sang a Korean folk song, and Alana and Allison Kim performed a duet with violin and cello.

The final act, Pungmulnori, was a traditional performance by the New York Ivy Pungmul Band, under the direction of Hea Sung Jung. The young people's rousing performance brought down the house.

The Rev. Erin Moore of the First Presbyterian Church offered a closing prayer.

After the performances, which lasted about an hour and a quarter, a meal of traditional Korean food was served to the approximately 200 assembled guests. The Korean dishes included beef, dumplings, pancakes with chives, crab cakes, and more.

Everyone so enjoyed the evening, they are already looking forward to next year.

“It was so great and I was so grateful that we could perform in the church," said Seawon Kim, one of the young band performers.

Yvonne Lee of Chester was enthusiastic. “It was wonderful!” she exclaimed. She especially liked the “young kids and the drumming.”

The Rev. Hong thanked the performers and the guests for coming. He said the evening was a “first time for us and fantastic. Thank you all and thank you, God.”














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