By New Worker correspondent
COMRADES and friends of Korea joined music lovers to see the Democratic Korean Youth Para Ensemble’s final performance of their tour of England with the support of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled. Their first tour wowed Londoners in 2015. They did the same last week.
The young disabled artistes of north Korea put on a splendid performance at St John’s concert hall in London’s West End last week. Much of the music was Korean folk music played on traditional Korean instruments such as the Kayagum in addition to a grand piano.
It was an incredible evening. One of the performers, a wonderful soprano, was only 14 years old; her singing was equal to that of a very experienced professional singer.
The artistic level was at such a high level. Indeed, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) every child is taught to play at least one musical instrument.
Equally impressive was the performance of Onegha, a traditional Korean song and dance. The dancers, in colourful traditional Korean garb, were just amazing.
We were treated to a beautiful rendition of the northern Irish folk song Danny Boy as well as the classic Irish-Norwegian ballad You Raised Me Up, and the dancers performed part of the story of Beauty and the Beast.
No doors are closed to disabled people in the DPRK, unlike Britain where the disabled face discrimination and ill-treatment, or south Korea where they are regarded as pitiful and weak and some are sent to work as slaves on remote islands.
The concert concluded with a moving rendition of the time-honoured and renowned Korean folk song Arirang.
Afterwards the chair of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled, who were the co-hosts of the concert, made a short speech saying how the performance can break down barriers of politics and communication.