Broadcast: October 11, 2006 ~ December28, 2006
The story of Hwang Jin Yi, the famous 16th century Gisaeng.
This story sheds new light on the life of Joseon-era dancer, musician and poet Hwang Jin Yi, who made her art blossom even when her love was put to test. The series also depicts the tragic life of a woman who faces hardships due to her social status. The drama drew the spotlight even before its premiere because Hwang Jin Yi is portrayed by top actress Ha Ji Won. Meanwhile, Wang Bit Na portrays another prominent dancer of the same era who is jealous of Hwang Jin Yi’s artistic talent. The role of nobleman Kim Eun Ho, Hwang Jin Yi’s first love who dies because their love turns out unrealistic due to differences in their social status, is played by Jang Geun Suk, while king’s relative Byuk Kye Soo, who becomes addicted to Hwang Jin Yi but fails to win her heart, is played by Yoo Tae Jun. Actor Lee Shi Hwan portrays Yi Saeng, an ambivalent character who is neither Hwang Jin Yi’s lover nor friend. Kim Young Ae plays the role of dancing girls’ trainer, while Kim Bo Yeon portrays her rival, Mae-hyang. The role of dancer Heon-keum, Hwang Jin Yi's mother who gave birth to her as a result of her belief that love only comes once in a lifetime, is portrayed by Jun Mi Sun.
Hwangjini (Ha Ji Won)
The best artist of the Joseon era, Hwangjini is a talented dancer, musician and poet. She was born to a nobleman and a court dancer, and is destined to live as a dancer. Despite her inborn talent, she works hard to hone her skills. She falls in love with a nobleman but her first love ends up tragically due to differences in their social status, and eventually the man she loves dies. She matures as a person when she meets king’s relative Byuk Kye-soo, Kim Jung-han and Yi-saeng. Her art blossoms even when she faces hardships brought by her tragic love.
Bu-yong (Wang Bit-na)
A daughter of ordinary people, Bu-yong became a court dancer and ever since has devoted herself solely to dancing. She is jealous of Hwangjini because she recognizes her talent but she is not a genius. She agonizes over her inferiority to Hwangjini but stops hating her seeing how hard she works and what deep wounds she has in her heart.
Byuk Kye-soo (Yoo Tae-jun)
A king’s relative, Kye-soo gives up entering government service for fear of being trapped in conspiracy, and lives an idyllic life. He falls in love with Hwangjini, but she doesn’t love him back, and neither money nor power can buy her feelings. He agonizes when Hwangjini turns him down and resorts to all kinds of cowardly means to win her heart.
Kim Eun-ho (Chang Keun-seok)
Hwangjini’s first love and a nobleman, he has pure-hearted feelings for Hwangjini but their love is doomed because of differences in their social status. He succumbs to his mother’s rage and his father’s evil plot. Eventually, he dies failing to protect his feelings for Hwangjini.