Exotic Enchantment: San Francisco’s 34th Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

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San Francisco finds itself in the midst of its 34th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival this summer. The five-week-long festival has been receiving attention from not only our neighbors, but from all over the country. From its prestigious reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times to the eye-widening performances, the Ethnic Dance Festival continues to open people’s eyes to acclaimed performances from different cultures.

This past Sunday (June 10), the main performance was held in the grand Asian Arts Museum with Il Hyun Kim, a Korean Dance Master. Hyun Kim entered the room with elegance in a rich costume with splashing colors of greens, blues, oranges, and reds. The audience quieted immediately. She began with a long white cloth, which she used as arm extensions that reached to the ceiling at every raise. With each twist and turn, she powerfully performed a Shamanic dance under Sun K. Kwark’s beautifully displayed artwork representing the museum’s current theme, “Phantoms of Asia.” In the dance, death is not viewed as the end, but instead as a part of a never ending cycle of death and rebirth. Through Hyun Kim’s motions and her use of bells, she tries to communicate with the souls that the shaman believe live on forever. The passion she had within herself not only moved her own body but emotionally moved the audience as well with every gently measure of the dance. When she softly finished her dance, the audience honored her with an echoing applause in the great halls of the museum.

Hyun Kim’s performance was one to see. However, there are still three weeks left for you to experience your own taste of cultural dances at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Spend a few hours and tour the world in the streets of San Francisco through the spirit of dance