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Republic of Korea

Salp'uri Ch'um

Salp'uri Dance (A Dance with long silk scarf)


Yong Kil-soon's Salp'uri Ch'um (c) Kim Sukja line

Salp'uri Ch'um is one of the traditional dances that reflect Korean psyche exceptionally well. It is believed to show the very harmony of serenity and dynamic element.

Reasons for selection

Salp'uri Ch'um is one of the most popular and the most often-performed traditional dance in Korea.

Area where performed

throughout the country

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

There are two types of Salp'uri Ch'um : of the Lee Maebang line and of the Kim Sukja line. There are certain characteristics in Salp'uri Ch'um. First of these is the three basic components of Salp'uri dance movement, the orunum hyong (controlled relaxation of tension)and finally the poo-num hyong (emission of emotion to completely resolve tension).

Second, Salp'uri Ch'um has elements of jung-joong-dong which means that there is an element of activity in a general environment of serenity. The dance is performed as solo with musicians in the background. The main dance movement is founded on pausing motion which then leads to acting motion (similar to the motion of splashing water, using the snap of the arm and the hand).

Thirdly, Salp'uri Ch'um expresses introvertiveness through physical movements. The motions are rooted in the inner realm and thus physical mobility is not great. However, the controlled motions reflect strong human will because the dancer is dancing from the emotional surges within.

Though the origin of Salp'uri Ch'um presumably dates back to early period, the form and style of Salp'uri dance of present day is largely developed by kisaeng (a professional entertainer)in Choson Period.

Publication and textual documentation

National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea
1997 Salp'uri Ch'um.

Audio documentation

National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea
1997 Salp'uri Ch'um: A documentary film (16mm color film, Betacam/VHS).

Visual documentation

The above video includes both the visual and audio info.

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Salp'uri Ch'um Preservation Society, Seoul.

Data provider

Mr. Im Jang-Hyuk
Senior Researcher (Folkloric Studies Division)
National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea
Address: 1 Sejong-Ro, Chongno-ku, Seoul 110-050
Republic of Korea