It’s a mammoth and very expensive exercise. The Little Angels, the cute young troupe of dancing girls sponsored by the Unification Church, are touring all 16 of the UN countries who supplied combat troops to defend the Republic of Korea against the invading DPRK forces 60 years ago, displaying once again Korea’s gratitude to the UN war veterans. They have already covered the Americas – the US, Canada and Columbia – and 2 October saw the start of the tour of Europe and Africa. From the UK to Turkey, from Belgium to South Africa via Ethiopia, it’s a gruelling trip for the young girls.
The programme had welcome messages from an impressive roster of VIPs – Prince Michael of Kent, David Cameron, John Major and Boris Johnson, and the performance opened with a video and speeches reminding the audience of the sacrifice made by UN forces 60 years ago and the dramatic progress made by the Republic since then.
But people had come to see the young peace ambassadors, and they were soon on stage performing their range of traditional dances, including most people’s favourites, the fan dance (above) and the flower dance (below).
For those who find Korean traditional music difficult, the performance on the drums was probably more accessible:
The show ended with some numbers with a more international outlook. During their UK visit in 1971, the Little Angels performed in front of the Queen, and they were fascinated by the Changing of the Guard ceremony. This inspired them to create a dance mimicking their actions, with the Angels marching on stage like toy soldiers.
The dancers then showed their versatility by re-forming as a vocal ensemble, singing Arirang (what Korean concert would be complete without an Arirang encore?) Greensleeves, a Swiss yodelling song as well as the British and Korean national anthems.
The show finished by inviting war veterans on stage to receive a special medal from the Little Angels – a fitting tribute from the young people of Korea.