Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I'm not sure which of those four classics is my favorite, they all clamor so for my affection.
Leader Kim Jong Il authored a celebrated work 'On the Art of Dance' on November 30, 1990. The work is a library and textbook of the socialist art of dance. He saw to it to carry forward the brilliant tradition of dance, the historical root of the Juche-oriented dance art, established during the anti-Japanese revolution and to convert dance into a true art loved by the people.
Sometimes, he became a choreographer to awaken creators to the profound world of dance ensemble and to minor shortcomings in the formation, music and rhythm of dance works that even experts had missed. And he selected dance music. [I can visualize this part so clearly! It's amazing how many ways there are for the artistically inclined megalomaniacal dictator to awaken creators to their minor shortcomings -- the pistol, the family gulag... oh, how to choose?]
The dance notation to develop dance art on a scientific basis was completed and the opera 'Sea of Blood'-style dance created [He also contributed a little set design and costume work to that one]. In this process, a new phase of the Juche-oriented dance has been opened up.
Under his energetic guidance, a number of dance works including the four famous dances such as Snow Falls, Rich Apple Harvest, Azaleas of Homeland and Winnow Dance have been created.
Could it be the Winnow Dance which truly owns my heart. Who can resist emaciated dancers frolicing in an empty dusty field, pecking at the bare ground for seeds, until the Overlord of the Dance leaps onto the stage, at which point the enemble dancers all bow and lick the Overlord's boots until he orders them off stage so he can build a dry dock for his speed boat, thus demonstrating the ultimate utility of every inch of the land to the Leader's purposes.
Of course there is Snow Falls, in which the Overlord of the Dance demonstrates his equal mastery of the modern forms, including breaking, locking, popping and other authentic styles. The scene in which he leaps across the stage dressed in thick fur coats, driving the emaciated ensemble dancers out into the snow so that their heating oil can power the speed boat, never fails to impress.
Maybe it is Rich Apple Harvest? Emaciated dancers frolick productively amongst trees with great Juche spirit, reaching for apples that aren't there but never despairing, until one intrepid dancer finds the only apple. At that point, the Overlord of the Dance prances out and lectures briefly on the proper technique for apple picking. The dance concludes when the ensemble dancers all bow and lick the Overlord's boots and hand him the apple before heading happily back to their homes and hungry children.
Perhaps it is the dance, Azaleas of Homeland, which reigns supreme. I am not qualified to say, as no one has ever witnessed this dance and returned to tell of the experience, so heart stopping is its exquisite beauty.
With all of this cultural bounty, not to mention a socially-just economy in which no one receives more than anyone else -- except of course for the Overlord of the Dance who technically doesn't "receive" since all productivity is, in the end, his by divine right -- well, it's just good to know that disgruntled blue staters in the creative community, looking to make good election emigration promises, will have somewhere to go that should meet their high standards.