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Culture

Traditional performers bring Georgia to Korea

Aug 28,2018
Rustavi is one of Georgia’s leading ensembles that promotes the country’s folk song and dance heritage both at home and abroad. [RUSTAVI]
It was only recently that Georgia, a country located in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, grabbed the attention of Korea’s avid travelers, who have marked it as the next go-to destination in the region. But Georgia has a long history (its recorded history goes back over 3,000 years), and over the years, the country has developed a rich Christian tradition and vibrant culture.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first democratic republic and to celebrate the occasion, Georgia’s iconic traditional performance group Rustavi is traveling across the globe. The group will be arriving in Korea next month to give Koreans a glimpse of what Georgian song and dance is like.

Rustavi is one of the most active ensembles in Georgia and has been promoting the country’s folk song and dance heritage both at home and abroad for the past 50 years. The ensemble will be touring across Korea, starting with a concert at Naju Culture & Arts Center on Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m., and the following day at 7:30 p.m. at the Suncheon City Library in Suncheon. Afterwards, the group will stop in Gwangju on Sept. 5, Samcheok, Gangwon on Sept. 6. The tour will end at the Seocho Cultural Arts Center in southern Seoul on Sept. 7. All concerts will require invitations.

According to the organizers, Rustavi has performed on more than 5,000 stages in at least 80 different countries, including London’s Royal Albert Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Olympia of Paris and New York’s Carnegie Hall and more.

The program for the upcoming concerts include choir pieces such as “Garekakhuri Satsekvao,” “Svanuri,” and “Chakrulo” as well as dance pieces like “Qartuli,” “Acharuli,” “Mtiuluri,” and “Kintauri,” among others. “Chakrulo,” for example, was one of the 27 musical compositions included on the Voyager Golden Records which were sent into space on the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1977. Georgian vocal polyphony is the country’s most recognized music tradition and it has been recognized as a Unesco Intangible Heritage masterpiece.

The Korean shows are sponsored by the Embassy of Georgia to Korea and K-water.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]

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