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EXPLORESpecial Events

Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon (November 15, 2013) image
Special Events

Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon (November 15, 2013)

Join us for Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon, a captivating performance featuring the Korean traditional martial art Taekkyon set to traditional music, presented by the Korea Taekkyon Association

Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon is a non-verbal storytelling performance that introduces two UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage items: Taekkyon itself, and Arirang, Korea’s most famous folk song and unofficial national anthem. Like its spiritual cousin Taekwondo, Taekkyon combines an elegant self-defense system emphasizing arm and leg techniques with a life philosophy of balance. Once a prominent exhibition sport in ancient Joseon Dynasty Korea, Taekkyon is distinguished by its lyrical, dance-like movements, grappling, and full body motion. 

Arirang tells the story of two lovers divided by a mountain pass, symbolizing the inevitability of hardship on the way to becoming aware of one’s own ambitions and life energy. In Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon, a Taekkyon performer overcomes his own challenge to arrive at such enlightenment. Lyeon, which means “connection,” represents communication between not only Taekkyon and Arirang, but also past, present, and future. 

The performance presents a harmonious integration of Korea’s traditional martial arts and melody, delineating the strength of Taekwondo and the flexibility of Taekkyon while also integrating the lion dance and sounds of the geomungo, a traditional Korean stringed instrument.

Taekkyon Arirang Lyeon is a 70-minute program composed by Yong-Bok Lee and choreographed by Hak-Sun Lim, scheduled for 70 cities and 30 countries over the next five years. This performance is hosted by the Korea Taekkyon Association and sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center Washington DC of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.


Performance Times: 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM, Friday, November 15
LocationGreenberg Theatre, American University
(4200 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20016)