Salpuri-Chum, A Korean Dance for Expelling Evil Spirits: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of its Artistic Characteristics

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This book is a study of Salpuri-Chum, a traditional Korean dance for expelling evil spirits. The authors explore the origins and practice of Salpuri-Chum. The ancient Korean people viewed their misfortunes as coming from evil spirits; therefore, they wanted to expel the evil spirits to recover their happiness. The music for Salpuri-Chum is called Sinawi rhythm. It has no sheet music and lacks the concept of metronomic technique. In this rhythm, the dancer becomes a conductor.

Salpuri-Chum is an artistic performance that resolves the people’s sorrow. In many cases, it is a form of sublimation. It is also an effort to transform the pain of reality into beauty, based on the Korean people’s characteristic merriment. It presents itself, then, as a form of immanence. Moreover, Salpuri-Chum is unique in its use of a piece of white fabric. The fabric, as a symbol of the Korean people’s ego ideal, signifies Salpuri-Chum’s focus as a dance for resolving their misfortunes.

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University Press of America
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