Korean Women’s Symbolic Movements

Gi-saeng HwangJini

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The ultimate goal of Gisaeng was not to entice men, but it was to be recognized as a genuine entertainer. In Gisaeng communities, ‘Dance’ is one of the touchstones of genuine Gisaeng. This woman is a Gi-saeng named HwangJini was the most famous, legendary Gisang in the Joseon Dynasty. Her life has inspired movies, TV series. This is the video clip of the TV series that address a life of Hwangjini. Hwangjini’s mento, Baekmu, sacrifices herself to save Hwangjini who tries to sacrifice her purity and be a concubine of a notorious bureaucrat. Devastated on her mentor’s suicidal, she performs the choreography that her mentor hasn’t completed.


Ganggangsullae is a part of Korean ritual dance that a lot of women dance in a circle which symbolizes full moon. It remains as a women culture since men is prohibited to commemorate ritual eventss.

Korean Folk Fan Dance

Sal-pu-ri Dance

A Buddist Dance

The Dance of the Buddhist Nun


Cho Ji-hoon

The sheer white-silk bonnet is folded neatly into a butterfly. 

Her shorn blue head hidden under the bonnet;

the color of her cheeks pretty enough to make one sad.

In the night, as the wax-candle quietly melts on an empty stage,

the moonlight wilts on every leaf of the pawlonia tree:

her sleeves are long against the broad sky,

her stocking-foot, slim as a cucumber seed, lightly bends and is lifted,

as if to fly as she turns.

Her black eyes rise softly 

to gaze on the starlight in a distant sky, 

two drops on her peach-blossom cheeks smear.

Sin is starlight even in the toil of this mundane world. 

Arms bending, wrapping about, folding then stretching, her hands  

gather as if in a holy prayer from the depth of her heart,

At midnight even the crickets stay up,  

The sheer white-silk bonnet is folded neatly into a butterfly. 

Translated by Kyung-Nyun Richards & Steffen Richards©2013


  1. http://www.nyculturebeat.com/?mid=Column_PoetryWindow&document_srl=3018254&search_target=tag&search_keyword=조지훈
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC96nZZlmyY
  3. url
  4. https://youtu.be/x-ylxpeOm60
  5. https://youtu.be/6D73WBzzEG4
  6. https://youtu.be/uuF0OosXR78


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