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Korean Dancer to Perform at CSUN

October 09, 2000|ROSEMARY CLANDOS

For the South Korean government to have designated an individual a Human Cultural Treasure twice attests to the artistry of Mae-Bang Lee, a master of traditional Korean dance, who will make a rare U.S. appearance this week at Cal State Northridge.

Lee, 73, won South Korea's highest cultural honor for his performances of the traditional Buddhist monk's dance and the dance of exorcism. He will be accompanied by his group of 13 dancers.

Many of his dances contain movements that are extremely deliberate and sometimes performed to the accompaniment of string instruments and a drum.

"Some jazz or modern dance is good for having fun, but my teacher's dance is very slow and very feminine," said Jeong Sung, 52, a Burbank resident who performs with Lee. "You don't know how feminine you can feel until you do the dance. Even if people are beautiful or not, they feel feminine after the dance."

The dance has been known to leave the audience in tears.

"You can see through his dancing what a difficult life he had," said Sung, who studied with Lee in South Korea.

"You can feel how these emotional things come up out of his body."

Lee performs Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St. Tickets cost $9 to $19.50. For more information, call (818) 677-2488.

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