Branksome Hall Asia students bring to life inspiring, historical Jeju Island woman
Students at Branksome Hall Asia recently performed an incredible rendition of RISE–The Story of a Woman for students of the Marymount School of New York and the Nightingale-Bamford School.
The musical was written by UK artist Jessica Mór specifically for students of Branksome Hall Asia—which is located on Jeju Island in South Korea—about Kim Man Deok, a woman who lived on Jeju from 1739-1812. Man Deok is recognized as Korea’s first female entrepreneur and is said to have personified the culture, community, history, and mythology of the strong women of Jeju Island.
La Mór, the Head of Arts at Branksome Hall Asia, was frustrated by the lack of empowering material for a large female cast and began to develop the program in 2017. An international team of artists from the UK, Portugal and Hong Kong were inspired by the landscape, myths and history of Jeju Island and paired this with the issues of the 21st century’s feminist movement to create the piece.
After the performance in New York, Ms Mór is thrilled with the outcome.
“The week was a whirlwind of challenges and new experiences for our students and they grew a tremendous amount in a very short space of time, which is of course often the way with intense projects that present authentic opportunities for challenge,” said Ms Mór.
The students also learned the importance of collaboration, perseverance and hard work.
“I realized by doing this— not only to have more life experiences— but this project also made us face more situations that we have never dealt with before, such as what should we do when there is a technical issue, or facing a small or huge audience,” said one student. “We trained our strength to overcome whatever problem we will meet and also gained much more self-confidence.
Ms Mór has gained her own personal insights after being part of the performances.
“One thing I learned from the trip is that we must never underestimate what young people are capable of,” she said.
To read more about the week in New York, click here.