BACOLOD City – Still basking in the success of the just-concluded MassKara Festival, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the MassKara dancers received a formal invitation to attend and perform at the Andong Maskdance Festival of Andong City, Korea next year.
The International Mask Arts and Culture Organization (IMACO), through its president, Andong City Mayor Kweon Young-Sae, and secretary-general Yoon Byung-Jin, wrote Leonardia and the MassKara dancers to join them in their celebration on Sept. 29 to Oct. 8, 2017.
Byung-Jin even visited Bacolod on the highlight week of the MassKara Festival and saw for himself the various activities of the festival, like the Electric MassKara performing float competition, and the street and arena dance competitions.
He personally handed over their invitation letter to Leonardia.
“Andong Maskdance Festival is a cultural icon for the Andong region, celebrating the traditions of Korean and international mask dancing,” Young-Sae and Yoon Byung-Jin stated in their letters.
Andong is a sister city of Bacolod. The sisterhood agreement was forged in September 2008, when Leonardia was also mayor of Bacolod.
IMACO is a group of international festivals that use masks. Currently it has 131 individual and group organizations from 56 countries.
Likewise, Young-Sae and Byung-Jin also invited Leonardia and the MassKara dancers to the 2017 IMACO International Conference in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (also known as Laos) at Vientiane in November 2017.
The three-day conference [no specific date yet] will be attended by representatives from 20 countries.
Last month, MassKara dancers from Barangay Granada that were three-time streetdance champions now, performed at the 8th Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Culture and Tourism Fair (ACTF) in Gwangju, South Korea, and at the Andong Maskdance Festival.
Accompanying the MassKara dancers were Councilor Em Ang, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism and festival action officer of the 37th MassKara Festival, and Councilor Caesar Distrito.
Ang said the theme of the ACTF focused on the unique masks and drums that showcase elegant dances of each of the 10 Asean member-countries./PN