SEOUL, South Korea— Among the audience of the Divine Performing Arts (DPA) show at the Universal Arts Center in Seoul on the evening of February 7 was another star of arguably the most-popular Asian TV series Jewel in the Palace, Ms. Woon-Gye Yeo.
Yeo’s role in the 70-episode drama TV series was the dignified Lady Jeong. In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times, she talked about her impressions of the show.
“It is so moving; enough so to make me speechless. This transcends ordinary dance performances. The show leads people to explore the principles of life. It lets people know about reincarnation, and other things. It is so inspiring. I don’t know how to fully express my heart’s excitement,” said Yeo.
Yeo studied Korean literature at the University of Korea. She has been in the acting business for more than 30 years. In Jewel of the Palace, she is the oldest actress. Now at the age of 69, she still has not lost her energy to act.
Jewel in the Palace is based on a real story of the first female doctor in Korea, Jang-Geum Seo (Young-Ae Lee), during the reigns of King Seongjong, King Yeonsan-gun and King Jungjong in the 1400’s and 1500’s. Yeo’s role as Lady Jeong possesses exceptional organizing skills. In the royal court back then, it was quite hard to find anyone as righteous as she.
‘They are like poems, like paintings’
Eun-Soo Park, another actor from Jewel in the Palace, had just seen DPA the day before.
Yeo exclaimed, “It is hard to describe with words the effect the DPA show has had on me. The effect is like spring water coming out of the ground, not knowing where it came from. I think maybe my soul is emerging like the spring water.”
She continued, “The tunes and movements are all very elegant. The colors are beautiful. The plots in the stories are extremely rich—from the bottom of my heart, I am touched. The backdrops are gorgeous. They are like poems, like paintings; they make me feel very relaxed.”
Yeo specifically noted the last segment of the program, Knowing the True Picture Offers Ultimate Hope. The various gigantic wheels spinning in the backdrops brought on many thoughts in her. She said, “My understanding of the wheels is that everything is joined as one. Eastern and Western, life and death, all of these came together as one body. I think that’s what it means. It really moved me.”
This piece depicts the cosmic and the earthly merging in a powerful image of renewal, a theme first explored in the opening dance of the show. It carries the message that a glorious culture of antiquity was brought by higher lives and meant to sustain the moral integrity of humankind.
“This performance, I think regardless of who sees it, be they Asians or Westerners, everybody will like it. Westerners would be even more moved after seeing this production.”
Another segment, which stood out the most to her was Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution.
This piece tells the tale of a father who is persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. The fantastic scenes that ultimately unfold in this piece present a message of hope and bespeak of a longstanding Chinese belief that good people are ultimately rewarded, even if not in this lifetime.
“When I saw the father persecuted to death and elevated to heaven, it made my heart feel both hurt and soar.”
“This performance, you not only see it with your eyes, it remains in your mind, in the deepest part of your consciousness. Choreographers and professional dancers truly should come and see this show. Not only should they learn about our culture, they need to learn from others’ culture.”
After hearing about how the show is touring 80 cities around the world in 2009, being viewed by audiences of many different ethnicities, Yeo commented, “Lately everything seems to be accelerating. It’s like a whirlpool. People rarely have time to think about anything. Yet this show inspires people to think deeply … the scenes are serene; there are many relaxed backgrounds. Those things can help to calm the heart.
“Whether you are young or old, the performance can ignite some thinking. I truly hope people from all around the world can see this show. Especially Koreans living overseas, it’ll be so nice if they are able to view this meaningful production.”
– The Epochtimes, Feb. 08, 2009