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03/20/2018 Interview > Student

Title

Two Chinese Goblins

With passion for dance in their hearts

박주현

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http://www.hanyang.ac.kr/surl/jerW

Contents
From February 9th to 25th, South Korea hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. As the 23rd Winter Olympics were to be held in a country perennially making headlines with their brothers in the North, it caught the special attention of manywho wondered how the country known for its rapid growth and technology would host the international event. Luckily, South Korea’s usage of 1,218 drones and other jaw-dropping performances satisfied the high expectations of global eyes. Out of all the Hanyang Univeristy (HYU) students that participated in the opening performance of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there were only two Chinese foreign students, Liu Tianyi (刘天艺,  Department of Dance) and Chen Tianxiao (陈天笑, Graduate School of Dance), who were nominated to be part of the crew.
 

How It All Began
 
Liu and Chen were not just students with natural talent. Ever since they were little, they attended arts and dance schools where they would train in traditional Chinese dance everyday. Before attending Hanyang’s graduate school, Chen had majored in dance at a Chinese university. By then he was already a renowned dance prodigy, as he had started officially performing from the age of 16. His first and very well-known performance was, in fact, on the opening stage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, right when the Olympic Torch relay arrived in Yangzhou. As a passionate and talented student, he also attended a dance competition held in Korea, where he began his new passion for modern dance, and chose to study in Korea.
 
Liu (left) and Chen (right)


As for Liu, she had an exceptional interest in Korea and its culture ever since she was young. She started studying Korean when she was 14 with the help of her many Korean friends in Qingdao. Having studied traditional dance for more than 10 years, she also grew interested in modern dance after watching a performance on television. “The field of modern dance feels quite different as it is of Western origin. I really like how it allows me to use my body creatively, and as Korea is more advanced in this field, and especially since Hanyang University (HYU) is one of the top ranking schools for arts and performances, I decided to apply to this school,” said Liu.
 
Passion for dance
 
When asked how they first started, Chen simply replied that he has always loved dancing, and that he believed dance is the best form of language there can be. However, Liu gave an unexpected answer, saying, “when I was little, I didn’t really have a neck. My mom was worried about my short neck so she made me start dancing and stretching. Luckily, I now have one.” With laughs and jokes aside, Liu also showed her passion for dance, calling it the expression of connection between art and the soul. She emphasized how she wanted to show other students that she was giving her all everyday to get to where she is now, and to also achieve her goals in the future.
 
"I now have a neck!"
(Photo courtesy of Liu)
With their drive and years of practice, the two dancers really stood out. They were recommended by Professor Son, an influential professor within the department, to perform on the opening stage of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. After months of strictly confidential practices under harsh weather conditions, they successfully performed as Korean traditional goblins alongside the world’s top ranking and renowned Korean dance group. “It wasn’t easy. Pyeongchang was so cold that it took a lot of energy just to stay focused. One of the students was severely injured while practicing and ended up having to take a long break from dancing entirely,” said Liu.
 
Future discourse
 
Already having gained popularity and recognition in the dance field, Chen talked in detail about his dream of becoming a choreographer. “In the future, I want to try fusing Chinese and Korean dance together. It would be interesting to see bits of traditional and modern elements in a performance. In that sense, I want to live in Korea because it’s a more efficient environment.” For Liu, despite her passion for dance, her dream is to become a Chinese-Korean translator. “I love dance, but I love Korea as well. I have been in love with the culture and language ever since I was little, and I’m now thinking about attending graduate school for this next step,” said Liu. 
 
 
Park Joo-hyun       julia1114@hanyang.ac.kr
Photos by Lee Jin-myung
 
 
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