Master of Sangmo Dance

Hong Jong Guk, 44, is a Merited Artiste and an expert at turning round the pigtail ribbons, symbolic movements in the Korean folk dance, Sangmo (long pigtail ribbon) Dance.

He performed in the grand mass gymnastics and artic performance The Glorious Country held in Pyongyang in 2018, turning round his 60-pal-long ribbon.

A pal, Korean measuring unit, is about 80 centimetres.

Hong played the Sangmo Dance since he was 16.

He was assiduous in learning techniques unique to the dance from his seniors and practicing them. While doing so, he had an intention of lengthening the pigtail ribbon of the helmet in order to enhance the portrayal qualities of the dance pieces and made energetic and persevering efforts. A conventional ribbon was 12 pals at the longest until 1990s.

He succeeded in turning round 24-pal ribbon in 2009 and 30-pal two years later. He renewed the record three years later by turning round the ribbon 40 pals long, and then again in 2018 with his 60-pal ribbon.

When he whirls his 60-pal ribbon around, forming several large circles the crowd roars with admiration and wonder.