As the mournful tune floats, six women in billowing dresses appeared on stage and started dancing. Their dazzling movements and lyrics that spoke of love soon enchanted the audience. The performing team, named “Heuksaekjoouibo,” which is a compound word of “black” and “warning” in Korean, were the second prize winners of the Hangang Literary Festival 2011-The Soar of Literature Youths, an interschool literary competition held at Seonyudo Hangang Park on Oct. 8.
Heuksaekjoouibo is comprised of six students who attends “Korean Modern Poetry and Ways of Life.” Although each of the members differs in age and majors, their interest in poetry brought them together. The poetry they mutually admired worked as a strong motivation to form the group and voluntarily attend the contest to seek for more learning outside the classroom. Members selected a Korean woman, Choi Seung-ja’s poem “So One Day, Dear Love” as the theme of their performance and named the team Heuksaek which means “black” in Korean to represent the cynical sense of the poem, reflecting well the image of the independent and strong women of Ewha.
As none of the members was specialists in music, dance or even poetry, it was not easy to create movements and lyrics for a six- minute-long performance.
“Almost everyday for only two weeks, we struggled to earn motives by watching Korean modern dances or variously interpreting the poem,” said Lee Hae-won (Chinese, 4), the leader of Heuksaekjoouibo.
Despite their concerns, Heuksaekjoouibo received great compliments both for the team itself and for Ewha on the performance day.
“Reviews said that we have upgraded the standards of poetry reading contests since the cold, keen but feminine expressions well displayed the aims of the female ideal at Ewha,” Yun Seo-yeon (Humanities, 1) said.
The movements, about which the team worried the most, were also highly regarded.
“Although there was no mistake, we were so nervous that in the scene where we had to scatter red feathers, the feathers got stuck to one of our member’s hands due to the sweat,” Yoo Su-jin (Economics, 3) said.
“But thanks to about 30 Ewha students who came to cheer us on, we were able to successfully finish the contest.”
Heuksaekjoouibo also reminisced about the memories they shared with their professor and other competitors.
“Whenever we finished practicing, we gathered with professor Lee Eun-jung who was also a judge at the contest and shared our feelings about books and poems,” Yeo Ji-eun (Humanities, 1) said.
“We even became friends with other competitors in an amicable atmosphere, by becoming one through poetry.”
News of the team winning the award traveled, and Heuksaekjoouibo was afforded the opportunity to give a performance again at the Ewha Thanksgiving Festival on Nov. 17.
“We were much more nervous at the Chapel as one month had passed since the first performance,” Kwon Do-youn (Korean, 2) said.
“But it was meaningful to perform to Ewha students.”
All the members of Heuksaekjoouibo point to the emotional bond they built as the most valuable asset they earned during the whole process.
“We are planning to go on a trip with the prize money we received. It was a priceless experience to meet gorgeous people and share memories of poetry with them, which I might never experience again,” Park Se-hyo (Korean Education, 2) said.