Moranbong Band

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Moranbong Band
Origin North Korea
Years active 2012–present
Members Band Leader: Seon-u Hyang-hui

The Moranbong Band (Korean:모란봉악단) is an all-female music group in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK - North Korea) whose members were selected by the country's supreme leader Kim Jong-un.[1][2][3][4] Performing interpretive styles of pop, rock, and fusion, they are the first all-female band from the DPRK, and made their world debut on 7 July 2012.[5]

History, concerts and performances[edit]

According to KCNA, "Kim Jong Un organized the Moranbong band as required by the new century, prompted by a grandiose plan to bring about a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year in which a new century of Juche Korea begins. The band just several months old raised its curtain for its significant demonstration performance proclaiming its birth before the world."[4] The repertoire of the performance divided into two parts included colorful numbers such as light music "Arirang", female vocal quintet "Let's Learn", light music "Yeppuni", light music and song "Victors", female trio "Silk Weaving Girl of Nyongbyon", string quartet "We Can't Live without his Care", foreign light music "Chardash", "Victory", "Song of Gypsy", female sextet "Fluttering Red Flag" and light music and song "Suite of World Fable Songs."[4][6] The 7 July 2012 audience was composed of Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Thaek, Kim Ki Nam, Hyon Chol Hae, Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Kim Phyong Hae, Choe Pu Il, Kim Myong Guk, Kim Yong Chol, Jo Kyong Chol, and "officials, creators, artists, writers and journalists of literary and art, media and art educational institutions".[4]

Also, the band has performed songs such as "Let's Study (Korean:배우자 )" and "Our Dear Leader",[3][7][8] an instrumental version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way,[9] and the theme from Rocky.[9]

Members[edit]

  • Band Leader: Seon-u Hyang-hui (선우향희) previously a violinist in the Samjiyeon Band in the Mansudae Art Troupe.[2][10]
  • Hong Su-kyeong (홍수경)[10]
  • Cha Young-mi (차영미)[10]
  • Yoo Eun-jeong (유은정)[10]
  • Kim Hyang-soon (김향순)[10]
  • Ri Hui-kyeong ( 리희경)[10]
  • Choi Jeong-im (최정임)[10]
  • Kim Young-mi (김영미)[10]
  • Ri Yoon-hui (리윤희)[10]
  • Kang Ryeong-hui (강령희)[10]
  • Ri Seol-lan (리설란)[10]
  • Kim Yoo-kyeong (김유경)[10]
  • Kim Seol-mi (김설미)[10]
  • Ryu Jin-a (류진아)[10]
  • Pak Mi-kyeong (박미경)[10]
  • Jung Su-hyang (정수향)[10]
  • Pak Seon-hyeong (박선향)[10]
  • Ri Myeong-hui (리명희)[10]

Reviews[edit]

  • One reviewer said, "The Moranbong girls are not what you’d expect from an unfashionably totalitarian regime where grey is the new grey. Their skirts are short, the hair is trendy, the music danceable. It could just about pass as a Eurovision entry from Azerbaijan."[8]
  • Another reviewer said, "We must take care, however, not to see these talented performers dressed in flashy costume as new archetypes for the New Modern Woman in the DPRK. According to Nicola Dibben’s theorizing of the female representation in popular music, “It would be hopelessly naive to declare that such tactics are exclusively empowering in their influence.” Rather, the gender division of the performance as a whole—from the stage through the audience space—should be examined for context.[10]
  • A third commentator said, "If state propaganda is to be believed, the Moranbong Band’s first performance was also meant to stimulate production in the textile sector, an important node of which Kim Jong Un and his female companion had visited the day before the ensemble’s premiere in Pyongyang."[11] "Consider the jewelry line-up on the Moranbong singers..."[11]
  • Another commentator said, "If a candidate exists that might represent the edge of a possible NK-pop invasion, it is surely the Moranbong Band, which debuted at a concert for Kim Jong-un in July 2012—not incidentally, the same month in which Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was released."[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Debut of Moranbong Band
  2. ^ a b "Kim Jong Un Has His Own All-Girl Pop Band". Inquisitr. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  3. ^ a b Stebner, Beth (29 May 2013). "North Korea's five-part girl band, formed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, blast out hits like 'Let's Study!' and 'Our Dear Leader!'". The Daily News. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Kim Jong Un Appreciates Demonstration Performance of Newly Organized Moranbong Band". KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  5. ^ http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1275185/moranbong-style-north-koreas-first-girl-band-may-be-sign-change
  6. ^ Samheroyang channel on YouTube
  7. ^ "North Korea's Kim Jong Un has his own pop band". Fox News. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  8. ^ a b Stanley, Tim (29 May 2013). "Meet North Korea's new girl band: five girls who just wanna have state-sanctioned fun". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  9. ^ a b c Ter Molen, Sherri L. (25 June 2013). "The Korean Wave’s Northern Undertow: Cultural Hybridity and the Moranbong Band". SinoNK.com. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Draudt, Darcie (3 May 2013). "Packaged and Controlled by the Masculine State: Moranbong Band and Gender in New Chosun-Style Performance". SinoNK. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  11. ^ a b Cathcart, Adam (9 August 2013). "Songun Mini-Skirt: Ri Sol-ju, the Moranbong Band, and North Korean Fashion Norms". Sino-NK. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 

External links[edit]