Jindo Drum Dance is one of the most famous folk dances in South Korea. The Jindo drum dancer requires holding the drumsticks and also needs to play the drum with both hands; this is what makes Jindo Drum Dance different from any other folk dances even if those include drums. It is also been referred to as “the two drums” or “the double drums”, for its bizarre way of holding the drum sticks and striking the drum simultaneously.
This traditional Korean Jindo Drum Dance uses ribbons to tie the drum around the body of the dancers. So it's like dancing by tieing the drum around one's body and simultaneously playing the drum. (Woof! that's a real task!)
It is believed that Jindo Drum Dance is developed in Jindo Island, South Korea, it is a dance conducted by playing a barrel drum, carrying those drums on the shoulder of dancers with two drumsticks in each hand. Jindo is the third most populous island in Korea and is located in the Jeollanam Coastline. Jindo people do fishing and farming to make a living. It is believed by some researchers that the rhythmic movement of the knees in the Jindo dance is closely related to the movement people made during the transplanting of seedlings. Which, are often mentioned in paddy songs. The most initial version of the Jindo Drum Dance is termed as “Sprout Drum Origin”
The dance moves are very technical yet delicate, and the rhythm of the dance is a testimony of rich cultural heritage. Jindo Drum Dance indicates relationship between a dancers’s feet and the earth. If we think from the cultural perspective, it reflects the relationship between humans and the earth which is also a complex and collectively artistic phenomena. We human lives on the earth produce our daily necessities from the earth and eat on the earth. You can also witness most Koreans still follow this tradition – sleeping on the floor, sitting while eating, or just normally they sit too. (Almost all Asians do this). This dance has been mostly determined by people's cultural perceptions and living habits. The connection between human beings and life is shown through the closeness of the feet on the floor while dancing.
Also, this Jind Drum Dance has two versions, the first one tells us about the combination of drum dance and drum game. While the dance uses body gesture the game uses mixed rhythm along with regularly changing forms. We can interpret its functionality as being entertaining while, at the same time, serving as the physical symbol of harvest. The second version of Jindo Drum Dance focuses on witchcraft music and giving sacrifices to the god by pleasing with
agricultural music. This version of the dance is quite thrilling as the dancers seem to be possessed by the God whom they seek to entertain with their dance.
These two versions are might be different but their purpose is the same and that is both the Jindo Drum Dance focus on the cheerful emotion while giving life lessons on the relationship between human and earth.
Do let us know in the comment section below what are you take on this traditional Jindo Drum Dance.
Author - Barsha Das