Enjoying Traditional Performance at Korea House

korea house

This is the next story after having a great dinner at Korea House. We had the tickets for 20.30-21.30 show from KDIS. At the the entrance of the theater, we were greeted by two beautiful ladies wearing Hanbok, later on I realized that they were the performers of the show. MinJee, our KDIS host, told us that we’re going to watch 8 performances representing eight genres of music and dance.

After we found our seat, the lights were dimmed. The first show was entitled Reign of Peace and Prosperity. It was a very nice dance telling about the footsteps of the traditional Korean music and dance, performed for the peace and prosperity of Korea. I love to see the colorful traditional costumes: bright and distinctive!

The second show was Daegeum Sanjo and Dance. It’s Korean traditional dance featuring beautiful gesture of a woman dancer accompanied by Daegeum Sanjo solo performance. The melody and rhythm were so unique to my ears, but they’re so catchy. It started very slow rhythm and became faster, ending with a very fast rhythm and creating enthusiasm to the audience.

Next was Beauty of Incense. The dance was a visual representation of beautiful curved lines characterizing Korean culture. They were also static movements, and the running text above the stage showed “comparable to the emptiness filling a space”during the movements. And after that was Seoljanggo show. It’s a percussion show, with four men performing four Janggo (a drum shaped like an hour glass). The tradition came from farmers’ percussion activity during harvest time. And each janggo drummer plays a slightly different beat, and it was a dynamic rythm to me, but I’d rather hear Jakarta Percussion show, hahaa…not too strange to my ears.

The fifth show was Snow Flower Dance. The dance is originated from a winter scene with snow falling like flowers. The other name of the dance is Seolhwamu. I love watching beautiful dancers moving in grace and harmony. (My daughter also loves to replay the video I took with my cellphone over and over again..)

The Next show was Pansori and Dance. This dance is based on the famous love story between Chunhyang and Mongnyong, a loove between Courtesan’s daughter and Government official’s son. That is a work of Pansori inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I love the lady singer voice: beautiful and powerful. She reminded me of Javanese dalang with a voice quality of a sinden, a traditional Javanese singer. What I don’t really like is the ending part when Mongyong pulled Chunhyang’s ribbon of her hanbook and started to kiss her as a sign for their first night make love, ewww…not a romantic scene to me since the movement should be slow and gentle, not like somebody’s going to rape a virgin hahaha..

The seventh show was Arirang Concerto, Gayageum’s rich style with arirang’s melody. Arirang has been registered as an UNESCO Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012. And yes I think it was such a beautiful piece of music. The performance seems like taking me somewhere peaceful in the world…so grandeur (you know when I returned to my hotel after the show, I downloaded Arirang song and started singing along …”Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…Arirang gogaero neomeoganda.Nareul beorigo gashineun nimeunShimrido motgaseo balbyeongnanda”….what a feeling!)🙂🙂

OK now let me just finish up this writing with  the last performance : a dance troupe called Drum Dance with Pungmulnori. The performance was exciting drum dance nicely combined with the traditional Pungmul-nori consisting of Janggo (drum shaped like an hourglass), Buk (drum), Jing (large gong), and small gong (Kkwaenggwari). All I can say about this troupe: super entertaining, high energy and funny too. I like the comedy in the  show, especially the guy with the hairy hat, oh I love this act!

My impression that night was how Korean preserve their traditional culture so highly. And they were successful in blending the modern with the traditional so seamlessly. When I asked MinJee about the ticket for show, she mentioned 50,000.KRW per person. WOW! Thanks KDI School, another expensive treat!😀

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