SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Mr JungRock Seo

MA (Korean National University of Arts), BA (Hanyang University)


JungRock Seo
Centre of Korean Studies

Post Doctoral Associate

Mr JungRock Seo
Email address:
Thesis title:
Archaeology of Dancing: Comparison between Ch’ŏyongmu and Nasori (working title)
Year of Study:
Began 2006


East Asian Dance History, Astethics of East Asian Dance, Anthropology of Dance, Dance and Technology

PhD Research

This research is animated by a curiosity about ancient Korean dance forms. The aims are (1) to investigate the relationship between the Korean court dance Ch’ŏyongmu and the Japanese court dance Nasori; (2) to show the origin of Nasori; and (3) to shed light on the features of ancient Korean dance through such a comparison.

Three obvious difficulties hamper the study of the dance: (1) The form of it has undergone much change over the past one thousand and one hundred years, and now seems far from how it must have appeared in historical times; (2) Source materials such as historical records, illustrations and notations, which might enable one to conjecture its various figures, are scarce; (3) It is thought that there may be no comparable dances, for dances from this epoch are no longer performed in Korea.

However, if I sketch an outline of how Ch’ŏyongmu has been transmitted over the ages, shed new light on some archeological specimens, and explore the possibility of a comparable dance - in light of successful academic research into ‘Ch’ŏyong’ – hopefully this will enable me to come to an understanding of the original stages of the dance.

Above all things, it is important to look for a comparable dance. When we look at the Japanese court, startlingly, a majority of Korean dance pieces from this period still exist in the Japanese court. In the 4th-9th centuries, Korean performances as well as Buddhism, Confucianism, science and techniques such as architecture, shipbuilding, painting were introduced to Japan. The dance pieces were also brought to Japan at that time. These dance pieces could possibly serve as a model of comparison in the research to better understand Ancient Korean dance features.


“The relationship between Dance and Music”, accepted for publication in Research Institute of Korean Traditional Dance papers, vol. 7, 2008.


  • “Dance and its Future” Presented during the 3th International Symposium of Dance Theory. School of Dance, Korean National University of Arts. 2007 December 21st, Seoul
  • “Return Extinct Dance” Presented at Gakushuin University. 2008 November 8th, Tokyo


Korean National University of Arts, South Korea.
Mizuho Gagaku Society, Japan.