Behind the Scenes: Mu Jo Geon Dance Performance
Contributed by Luke Higuchi
A miracle happened at Madison Square Garden on July 15. Through it, I experienced how Heavenly Parent works through determination and unity.
I was assigned to be in charge of the dance performance at the Madison Square Garden “Peace Starts with Me” event. Starting in the middle of June, I tried to recruit dancers through the FFWPU-USA website; we made an open call to spread the information to experienced dancers. But not many people reacted for the first couple of days, so I changed the direction to call anybody who wanted to dance—no experience necessary and any age. I started getting applications from many people.
There were two types of dance performances at Madison Square Garden on July 15. First, there was the Praise Dance, performing with the 2,000-Voice Choir; second, there was the dance to the Korean pop song Mu Jo Geon.
The director of the Praise Dance was Pastor Levi Daugherty, who had the vision to have dancers performing with the 2,000-Voice Choir. He reached out to churches of different denominations through the Praise Dance project. I started to train and choreograph for the song Every Praise with local Unificationists in New York City and New Jersey.
But there were mostly children and adults, not young adult dancers yet.
At the end of June at the monthly leaders’ meeting, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim emphasized the importance of the Mu Jo Geon dance; he explained how True Mother was looking forward to seeing the performance by American youth.
I was feeling so much pressure, and I had such a difficult time recruiting young people. Sixteen Las Vegas CARP students were scheduled to come to New York City on July 8, and 17 Los Angeles CARP members on July 10. An additional seven young people were coming from the New York / New Jersey area. I had only about 40 members, and only five days to train them by July 15, the date of the Madison Square Garden event. I had no idea where else I could go to find young people.
True Mother was really concerned about the Mu Jo Geon dance performance, and she sent Mr. Oyamada, who had led the Mu Jo Geon dance at the Youth for Peace rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 12. I contacted Mr. Oyamada to get advice.
He already had committed to come to the United States. He asked me how many people could dance, and I answered, “About 40 people.” I had no idea that that number would be reported to True Mother.
I will never forget July 3, 2017, the day before Independence Day. It’s a day on which no one likes to practice dance or even get a phone call from anybody. I was relaxing with my family in a Korean sauna on the evening of July 3. But things were happening. I got a phone call at 11 p.m. from Dr. Ki Hoon Kim directly, which had never happened before.
I picked up the phone with a sense of emergency. Dr. Kim spoke to me in a voice that was one octave higher than usual. “I got a call from Cheon Jeon Gung. True Mother is worrying about the United States having only 40 youth for the Mu Jo Geon dance. If you cannot get more dancers, say ‘no’ to me now!” I answered him, “Yes, I can!”
But my body was frozen, even in the Korean sauna. I called Naokimi Ushiroda and arranged to have a meeting with him on July 4. We had a brainstorming conversation about how to make it happen, and a great inspiration came: We should make a stronger impact with 500 young people from the Hyo Jeong workshop.
The next day, we had a meeting with Kaeleigh Moffitt, who was in charge of the Hyo Jeong workshop. She really understood the situation, and she decided to change the workshop schedule to allow the young participants to practice the Mu Jo Geon dance. We made a dance tutorial video and sent it to everyone who was registered for the Hyo Jeong workshop. That was great teamwork. I’m so appreciative of how those young leaders reacted to True Mother’s hopes.
Mr. Oyamada came to the United States on July 7. He and I flew to Chicago on July 10 to train 40 young people at Camp KOHOE (Kingdom of Heaven on Earth) and on to Boston on July 11 to train 40 more young people at Camp Epic.
At the same time 20 Japanese young people, who had had the experience of dancing at the event in Thailand, came to the United States on July 10. True Mother sent them to support the U.S. movement.
On July 10, the CARP Las Vegas and CARP Los Angeles members and the 20 Japanese members began an intense training at the 43rd Street learning center. They had a hard schedule every day: dance practice in the morning, inviting people around the city to the event in the afternoon, and dance practice again after dinner.
Those 60 well-trained dancers trained the 500 participants of the Hyo Jeong workshop the day before the event. Please watch the video; it shows the process in which all the dancers were trained.
That is how the performance of 700 young dancers at Madison Square Garden came to be.
It was a miracle. So many people gave their effort, cooperation, teamwork and unity. I felt that God had prepared the whole scenario in order to raise us up.
I realized that before my determination to make it happen, Dr. Kim’s determination and prayer were there. Also, before Dr. Kim’s determination, there was True Mother’s determination to save the United States and the whole world. Because True Mother made the determination to realize True Father’s dream.
If we are determined, we can do more and greater things in the future to bring about the success of Vision 2020.
Mr. Oyamada said, “The Mu Jo Geon dance is not just a dance. It is also a pledge to True Parents.”
Here is an English translation of the lyrics to Mu Jo Geon.
When you need me, please call me, and I will run to you anytime.
Daytime is OK and nighttime is OK. I will run to you anytime.
If other people call me, I may think about it for a long time.
If Parents [True Parents] call me, I will run to them unconditionally.
My love toward Parents is unconditional and unconditional.
My love toward Parents is a special love.
Even if I cross the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean,
If Parents call me, I will run. I will run to them unconditionally.
Let’s all dance together for the next event!