Where the Masters Meet

I just returned from Jeonju, “Capital of Tradition Korean Music” (국악의 수도), where the 38th Daesaseubnori (대사습놀이) were held (unfortunately, the homepage does not open on some computers, possibly due to non-Korean IPs?). Traditionally the most important national contest of pansori singers, the event has been “festivalized”, incorporating various side and fringe events, all over town, that is the old downton of Jeonju, the “Hanok Village” (한옥마을).

I have finished an article for the Sori Festival’s blog today, so it should be up within the next week or so, both in Korean and English. Here I post a few pictures that do not appear in the article, along with brief comments. (This is also a premiere for slightly photoshopped images)

1. The preliminary rounds of the National Contest (전국대회)—both students (in the picture) and master singers—were held in the perimeters of the Crafts Exhibition Space (공예문전시관), more precisely in the backyard, where under a sunshade a small stage had been erected. The stage featured only a straw mat for the singer and a cushion for the drummer, as well as two microphones, one standing, one for sitting performances.

2. In a sidestreet on a small parking space, the “Makkeolli-Soripan” (막걸리 소리판) took place: A young pansori singer provided background music for some snacks and rice wine.

3. An “All-Night Concert” full of various fusion-acts made time pass by quickly on Saturday night. The picture shows famous young pansori singer Park Ae-ri (박애리) singing a (non-pansori) ballad while her hiphop-husband Pappin Hyeon Jun (팝핀 현준) gave an astonishing dance performance. (see a Korean article on the couple)

4. The finale rounds took place in the Gyeonggijeon (경기전), a central location in the Hanok Village where shrines of some members of the Yi-Dynasty, the rulers of old Joseon, are kept. The large, distant stage is due to the MBC live broadcast of the event, but unfortunately did not help to increase audience participation. Of course, applause and chuimsae could be heard, still people were mostly chatting among themselves while coming and going. Still, the multimedial feedback-setting made the event worthwhile, as did, of course, the excellent musicians, dancers and singers.

Finally, a short video clip of a performance I unfortunately could not see, thankfully provided by youtube-user Jumunhee. The clip was shot at Omokdae (오목대), a pavillon located on a hill overlooking the Hanok Village:

— 8–11 June 2012 (金~月)

  • 2012 전주대사습놀이, 2012년 6월 8일 ~ 11일, 전북도 전주시 다양한 군데.
  • 2012 Jeonju Daesaseubnori, June 8 – 11, 2012, various locations in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province.

About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Pansori, Performance Report. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Where the Masters Meet

  1. Hello! I have enjoyed reading your blog. I was wondering if you can tell me where I might find, online, pictures and names of Korean stage actors from before 1950? Thanks for any help!

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