Han Seongjun

Han Seongjun

Han Seongjun Image
  • Period : Japanese Colonial Era (1875 ~ 1941)
  • Field:Art

Han’s real name is Chunseok, and was born in Gagok, Galsanmyeon, Hongseonggun.

When he was 7, he learned dancing and playing a drum from Baek Unchae, his maternal grandfather. Since he was 14 years old, he learned how to walk on a wire and to play on the ground from Seo Hakjo for 3 years in Hongseong. Since then, he had studied dancing and rhythm from Park Sunjo of Sudeoksa until he was 20 years old.

He led a nomadic life since 1894. Then he had an opportunity to make an appearance on the stage of Wongaksa, which opened at the end of Chosun Dynasty era. Since then, he settled in Seoul. After Wongaksa was closed, he did road shows joining in performing groups such as Hyeopryulsa and Yeonheungsa. During this period, he competed in 15 singing events (唱榜) as a master musician. He was known as a master singer along with Kim Changhwan, Park Gihong, Song Mangap, Yi Dongbaek, Kim Changyong, Jeong Jeongryeol, etc. At that time, learning royal court dancing gave him a motive to produce <Taepyeong Dance> and <Crane Dance> in later days.

He was recognized as a master singer as competent as other masters, and even received a ‘Chambong’ position from King Gojong.

In 1930, he organized Chosun Music Dancing Academy, and in 1934 estalblished Chosun Dancing Research Center specializing in dancing only training students. He had a performance of ‘Han Seongjun Dancing Perfornace’ in Bumingwan in 1935. After that, he toured in major cities including Tokyo, Japan, introducing Korean dancing to Japan. Because of this, he received an award for excellent arts from Modern Newspaper of Japan in 1941.

A number of types of dancing that he created or reorganized are regarded as works continuing the tradition of authentic dancing forms. Among those, ‘Seung Dancing (No. 27 Important Intangible Cultural Asset)' and ‘Taepyeong Dancing (No. 92 Important Intangible Cultural Asset)’ are passed down to his disciples and designated as national cultural asset.

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