The Opening Ceremony
The Cheonan World Dance Festival lasts an impressive, action-packed 5 days. It starts Wednesday during the day but it truly launches in the evening during the opening ceremony. Each country is represented at the festival is featured on stage. The ceremony begins with several different performances by various Korean groups. The main event of the opening ceremony, however, is the introduction of all the international dance groups from 18 different countries. As each country’s name is announced, the groups are each led onto the stage by a Korean representative holding that country’s flag. When all the dance teams are finally on stage the mayor of Cheonan comes to the stage to officially launch the beginning of this year’s festivities. To finish off the opening ceremony, the Korean group circles around the rest of the countries’ performers for a ceremonious group performance. This one big performance symbolizes the unity of all the countries under the same love of dance.
The Closing Ceremony
Of all the events the festival has to offer, the closing ceremony is truly the highlight. A grand culmination of the past 5 days all coming together in a spectacular finale. The two main events here are the International Dance Finals and the Korean Dance Finals, with over 30 teams taking the stage, giving their all one last time.
International Dance Division Finals
The finals for the international dance competition starts it off. With one last chance to impress, each team comes out dressed from head to toe in spectacular outfits full of vibrant colors and consisting of a cornucopia of different dresses, hats, masks ribbons, robes and more! One by one each country comes and gives the crowd and good show while at the same time giving some insight into their unique cultures. Some twirl around in stage while others prance across it. Some dances consist of intricate couple movements while others dance as a group, each individual moving in unison with their team members.
Korean Dance Division Finals
After the international competition comes the best in Korea, a top-notch show featuring some of the best dance groups in the country. Here the old and the new collide as spectators are treated to a variety of different dance styles. Robotic break dancers, high jumping gymnasts, eerie dancers dressed in hanbok, and acrobatic taekwondo performers are just some of the amazing displays that make it to the finals.
After the last dance team has sadly finished and you remember the pain in your legs caused by standing for so long, come to the awards.
Each team slowly dances its way back out on stage being led by their countries flag. Once they are all somehow squeezed up on the platform together, the mayor comes out hands out the awards and prize money. There are many different prize categories including best costumes, best effort, and best performance, with the grand prize being worth a whopping 10,000,000 won.
After all of the giant checks have been given out, the dancers, led by the mayor, guide the crowd into one last dance together.