By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. – Korean language students studying at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, performed a traditional Korean fan dance at the 23rd Korean Day Cultural Festival at Union Square in San Francisco Aug. 15.
Buchaechum, as the dance is known in Korean, uses large fans painted with pink blossoms and the dancers represent birds, flowers, butterflies and waves. The students learned the dance on their own time as the intensive Korean program is 64 weeks long requiring seven hours of class per day, with two to three hours of homework each night.
“At the normal pace, it takes three months to learn and master the basic traditional dance techniques and to perform the fan dance on stage,” said You-chung Kim, the executive coordinator of Korean culture at DLIFLC’s Korean school. “It can take a year, not only to teach students how to dance, but it also (takes time to) design choreography, select and edit the music for the dance and arrange proper traditional Korean dresses for the stage.”
Kate Hwang, the Korean dance director, has taught students fan dance since 2002. Her belief is that students can be motivated and reach higher language goals when they are more immersed in the culture. For the past 13 years, Hwang has taught hundreds of students how to perform the fan dance.
The festival was hosted by the Korean American Association of San Francisco and Greater Bay Area. This year the festival also commemorated the 70th anniversary of Korean Independence Day and the 60th anniversary of the Korean American Association.
The DLIFLC joint-service color guard also attended by presenting the colors, officially kicking off the festivities. Command Sgt. Maj. Matildo Coppi, the institute’s most senior enlisted leader, gave remarks on behalf of the institute.
DLIFLC is regarded as one of the finest schools for foreign language instruction in the world. The Institute provides resident instruction in 23 languages to approximately 3,500 military service members.
Posted Date: 19 August 2015