Abstract Title
The Evolution of Han Through The Lens of Dance In South Korea
Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, South Korea has developed at an unprecedented pace, rising from the devastation of war and swiftly growing its own political and economic power. Through the lens of Korean dance, this research examines alterations in generational views of what it means to be Korean. This research explores historical views of what it means to be Korean through comparing traditional Korean dance of the past with K-Pop, a recent advent within pop culture that is tied to the flourishing of South Korea. Research indicates that past ideologies of what it means to be Korean center around the emotional concept of han, an emotion of unavenged suffering tied to historical calamities of war and suppression by other nations; an emotion all Koreans are believed to be born with. Participant observations in traditional Korean dance classes and K-pop dance classes, interviews with dance teachers and students, and various data gathered from key informants and academic research revealed a shift away from han. This shift has taken place between generations that endured historical sufferings and the generations that now experience the social, political, and economic progress of South Korea. This research deals with ideologies surrounding the embodiment of identity through dance and movement, connecting feelings of what it means to be Korean with the contexts of Korea’s pasts and its present.
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