After visiting Insadong with GDLN Blended-Learning buddies on Sunday afternoon, we went to Myeong-dong to watch Nanta performance. Jennifer, the KDI School escort, told us that Nanta is the best entertaining performance with high energy, infectious rhythm and non-verbal humors, that all ages and all nations can easily enjoy it. NANTA has been running since October 10, 1997 and is the most popular show ever in Korea. The show is based on Korea’s traditional garak (rhythms) of Samulnori (traditional Korean percussion quartet). It also has achieved outstanding international success for having performed on Broadway and toured widely around the US and the rest of the world (more than 33,000 shows in 289 cities, 51 countries!) It receives rave reviews wherever it performs and quickly sells out.
Nanta means cooking. There are five performers; all use knives and many kitchen utensils as musical instruments (very rhythmical banging of knives, pots and pans), with real ingredients like vegetables and fruits. From the beginning, we were informed that we’re not allowed to take pictures or record the show. That makes sense, we wouldn’t enjoy the show much if we were too busy documenting the show. 🙂
The show tells the story of three crazy chefs (a head chef, a sexy male chef and one very sexy female chef 😀 ) who have been set the impossible task by the Manager to make a wedding banquet in just one hour, along with his little nephew to be involved as a chef. What follows is pure musical mayhem: the four chefs become wild as they chop, beat, and stir to meet the deadline, and they even manage to fit in a love story between sexy chef and female chef. In the end, the Nanta chefs can complete the preparation on time.
On some parts I felt sleepy, probably because I was just too tired. But it was quite entertaining, especially when there were ”flying objects” towards the audience as the chefs chopped the vegetables. And the comedy was universal, as if I watched Srimulat show in my country. I liked the part when they invited two audience to the stage and involved them as the bride and the groom to be, so funny. No wonder this good vibes can have more than 11 millions spectators.
To get to Nanta theatre in Myeong-dong, we took our KDIS bus (or I could take Seoul Subway Line 2, Euljiro 1-ga and choose Exit 6) to Myeong-dong. Then we walked straight for 220m and turned left onto Myeongdong gil. The theatre (Unesco Building) is 120m ahead on the right, with a very small sign that was not so noticeable for a new comer like me. The ticket price was 40,000 KRW, quite expensive for me, thank you KDIS for the treat. 🙂
All in all, it was such a rare and unforgettable experience I’ve ever had in Korea.