From my notes while I was there in April:
North Korean performance art: technical perfection while appearing effortless … emote wonder and hokey joy … layer it on … add difficulty. Zero subtlety.
That just about describes it.
I also noted the following.
Something tells me that the technical perfection in North Korean arts reflects middling ability in its leadership to prove its self-worth. Maybe I extrapolated too far, but someone is driving their artistic and athletic direction. Since North Korea controls personal expression so much, they can’t motivate their artists to express themselves how they want, so how can they promote something like art? They can promote easily quantifiable and measurable results.
North Koreans can justifiably say they’re better than nearly anyone else on their children’s ability to perform amazing stunts.
I feel like whoever drives it takes personal pride in their country’s capabilities. Given how much they push these kids, I would bet the people driving this direction never went through what the kids did.
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