Still Moving: Impressions from the Pink Factory Exhibition Opening 2017

This memory protocol (also available in Korean) is a preview from the 2017 catalogue of Pink Factory (분홍공장), which is currently in print and will be available in January 2018. Once again, resident artists from Korea and abroad created wonderful works of art in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do. The exhibition opened on Sept. 9 with several performances: Lee Seiseung’s choreography “To Be and Not to Be,” performed by Anima Singh (안무: 이세승, 출연: 어니마 싱), and Hur Yunkyung’s piece “Implicitly Anywhere” (허윤경, 은근어디든) , both in front and partly inside Hongcheon Art Museum, followed by dinner and Koh San Hong’s DJ Party “Geumsung Record” (고산홍, 금성 레코드) uphill at Pink Factory. Once again bi-lingual (Korean-English) and in full color, Pink Factory’s 2017 catalogue includes all artworks on show, impressions from the workshops and lectures given in the course of the residency program, as well as writings and images from the exhibition “Moving Shadows” and the community program “Floating Ferry, Buzzing Market” (둥실둥실 나룻배, 와글와글 중앙시장) that was conducted in parallel.

Still Moving

Impressions from the Pink Factory Exhibition Opening 2017

Leaving the museum, we slowly turn around. On top of the balustrade, Hur Yunkyung captures our attention, appropriates the whole place, but her time has not come yet.

Hur Yunkyung, on Hongcheon Art Museum

A woman in white, Anima Singh, steps up the stairs. She brings along a white pillar of her own size, hollow but certainly no light luggage. The empty pedestal follows her, supports her, wears her down, almost crushes her, and together they draw long shadows across the parking. ‘Who’s there,’ she whispers. To be and not to be? A question of perspective.

No time to ponder the relativity of time and space, as a green spot approaches, from the mountains, up a tree, through the gutter into the museum. Hur Yunkyung is back – and already gone again. But she returns, guides us through steel and water, past the camouflaged cabin, like a dog in search for answers written on the wall, between the steady beats of a drum, to dark, blue water dripping on paper, the crack growing wider as she navigates the crowd, within and without. We then go different ways.

Choreographed by Lee Seiseung, Anima Singh projected a life in motion onto the parking space. Hur Yunkyung mapped the museum and showed us its invisible core just by moving. Now the stage is set for the DJ! Koh San Hong plays songs from Seattle to Shibuya, mixed with sounds of steel and beats that grip our pulses together. We eat and dance and talk and drink, standing, sitting, still in motion. Do urbanites dream of star-spangled skies? The shadows have long moved, the night can come, even to Hongcheon.

Text: Jan Creutzenberg

— 9 Sept. 2017 (土)

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[Still Moving: Impressions from the Pink Factory Exhibition Opening 2017] 여전한 이동: 분홍공장 2017 국제전에 대한 몇 가지의 인상들

This is the Korean version of my impressions from the 2017 Pink Factory (분홍공장) exhibition opening on Sept. 9. This text, as well as many others in Korean and English can be found in the 2017 Catalogue of Pink Factory. See also my impressions from the 2015 Pink Factory exhibition (Korean version) on this blog.

이 기록글은 2017년 연말에 출판될 홍천 지역문화 공간 “분홍공장”(Pink Factory)의 2017년 카톨록의 “미리보기”입니다. 분홍공장 레지던스 프로그램의 국내외 거주 예술가들 10명은 멋있고 현장성이 강한 작품들을 많이 제작했는데 (그림, 사진, 설치, 사운드, 동영상 등) 이 글은 “이동하는 그림자”라는 전시의 오프닝 퍼포먼스들을 중심으로 쓴 것입니다. 9월9일 오후에 먼저 전시장소인 홍천미술관 앞에서 이세승의 안무로 무용가 어니마 싱은 “To Be and Not to Be”를 공연했으며 그후에 안무가 겸 무용가 허윤경은 “은근어디든”라는 작품을 미술관 안과 밖에 보여줬습니다. 그리고 분홍공장으로 옮겨서 뒤풀이를 하면서 고산홍 작가는 “금성 레코드”라는  DJ 파티를 진행했습니다.  분홍공장의 2017년 카탈록은 레지던스 중에 제작되고 전시된 작품, 워크숍과 강연에 대한 기록, 그리고 전시 “이동하는 그림자”와 동시에 홍천중앙시장에서 진행된 커뮤니티 프로그램 “둥실둥실 나룻배, 와글와글 중앙시장”에 대한 글들이 포함될겁니다 (한국어/영어; 전면컬러).

(이 글의영어 원고, 그리고 2015년의 분홍공장 전시에 대한 인상들(한국어/영어)도 이 블로그에서 읽을 수 있습니다.)


여전한 이동

분홍공장 2017 국제전에 대한 몇 가지의 인상들

미술관을 나와 우리는 천천히 뒤를 돌아보았다. 안무가 및 무용가인 허윤경은 미술관 2층 난간에 앉아 우리의 주목을 집중시켰는데 아직 허윤경의 퍼포먼스 시간은 아니었다.

Hur Yunkyung, on Hongcheon Art Museum

백색의 옷을 입고 있는 여자, 즉 퍼포머 어니마 싱은 계단을 올라온다. 자신의 크기와 비슷한 흰색 기둥과 함께 온다. 속이 비어있지만 가벼운 수하물도 아닌 이 도구는 그녀를 따라가고, 버티고, 약화시키고, 거의 뭉개면서 미술관 앞 주차장에 긴 그림자를 그린다. ‘누구세요’라고 작은 목소리로 말한다. 햄릿에서처럼 있으면서 없는 것은 바로 문제다. 이것은 관점의 문제 아닌가.

공간과 시간의 상대성을 숙고할 시간이 없다. 녹색 반점이 먼 산속에서 가까워지고, 나무 위로 올라가고, 미술관으로 들어간다. 허윤경이 다녀왔구나. 그리고 이미 다시 갔다. 그리고 그녀는 돌아와서 우리에게 철과 물로 안내한다. 우리는 위장된 객실을 지나서 강아지처럼 벽에 쓰인 답을 찾으며 어떤 드럼의 리듬을 들으면서 종이에 뚝뚝 흐르는 어두우면서 푸른 물로 간다. 허윤경은 안과 밖에서 군중을 항해하면서 그 틈이 커진다. 우리는 다른 길로 걸어간다.

주차장에서 이세승의 안무로 이동의 삶을 재현한 어니마 싱, 미술관 매핑을 통해 보이지 않는 중심을 움직임(이동)으로만 표현한 혀윤경 이후에 이제 DJ 고산홍의 등장이다.

시부야부터 시애틀까지의 음악, 멈춘 강철의 소리, 그리고 우리의 맥박을 붙잡는 울림이 들려온다. 우리는 밥도 먹으며 춤도 추고 이야기도 나누고 술도 마시고 서서 앉아서 여전히 이동 중이다. 도시인들은 별로 아로새겨진 하늘의 꿈을 꾸는가? 지금 홍천이라도 밤은 올 걸, 그림자들이 이동한 지 오래 되었으니.

글: 이안 코이츤베악 (Jan Creutzenberg)

— 9 Sept. 2017 (土)

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Daehangno Poster Session 7

Once again, my top five of theatre posters I saw in Daehangno. This time I happened to be in the theatre district on the occasion of meeting members of Theater Heidelberg. They were on a scouting mission to find interesting new plays for Heidelberger Stückemarkt, a theatre festival in Germany, where Korea will be guest country next spring.

Anyway, here are the posters, with my list below:


5. Bicycle by Oh Tae-seok

자전거, 국단 목화, 작, 연출: 오태석

Because it’s the revival of a Korean classic (from 1983), one of the few plays available in English, French, and German translation.

Arko Arts Theater (아르코예술극장소극장), 2017-10-20 ~ 29 Homepage

4. Mangwon-dong Brothers

망원동 브라더스

Because three years later (place 3 on my 2014-list) it’s still running (now on open run) – and because we’re still neighbors.

Art Space Hyehwa (예술공간 혜화), 2017-03-03 ~ Homepage

3. Othello, Jealousy is My Power by Performer Group Parandal

오셀로, 질투는 나의 힘, 퍼포머그룹 파란달

Because of the guerilla-style placement of this glossy poster that cries star power. The actor on the poster, Hyeong-il (김형일), plays the title role (double-cast with Hong Seong-min [홍성민]), with Choe Ye-yun (최예윤) as Desdemona and Kim Tae-rin (김태린), also the director, as Iago.

National Theater of Korea (국립극장 별오름극장), 2017-10-19 ~ 11-05 Interpark

Daehangno Star City (대학로 스타시티), 2017-12-15 ~ 31

2. Wandering Mother Courage by Theater Company SaniNeomeo

유랑 억척어멈, 극단 사니너머

Because it’s another adaptation of Brecht’s play with traditional elements. I got to see the production, finally, on the penultimate day. In Lee Yun-taek’s production (which I hope to see soon), Kim Mi-suk as Mother Courage sings pansori-style, and here it’s traditional puppetry.

Minsong Art Hall (민송아트홀 2관), 2017-11-17 ~ 26 Interpark

1. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, directed by Kim Dong-yeon

엠.버터플라이, 작: 데이비드 헨리 황, 연출: 김동연

Because of the prospects of seeing this modern classic in a Korean context (so far, I only know Cronenberg’s film adaptation) – and the twist on old-school portrait posters. The cast seems to be different from an earlier 2012-production, though. In the meantime, Korean actor Jin Ha stars in a Broadway revival.

Art One Theater (아트원씨어터), 2017-09-09 ~ 12-03 Interpark

Out of Competition: The Wildfire

산불, 국립창극단

Because it sounds interesting – a theatre play produced as changgeuk (see my preview of the 2017–18 season at the National Theater) – but the poster looks completely bland.

National Theater of Korea (국립극장 해오름극장), 2017-10-25 ~ 29 Homepage

— 17 Oct. 2017 (火)

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Three Times Acting Different

This was an extended weekend of theatre: Watching others play different roles.

제45회 성신여자대학교 독어독문학과 학술제

The 45th Sungshin University German Language and Literature Academic Party Beauty and the Beast

On Thursday, our yearly “German Night” (독문인의 밤) at Sungshin University, where first-year students of German Language and Literature sing, dance, and perform – in German, of course. This is a bit different from the bi-yearly production of a German play, as the students prepare everything themselves and the play is usually shorter and more light-hearted. This year, they had selected Beauty and the Beast (Die Schöne und das Biest, aka 미녀와 야수 in Korean) – a great performance!

Then on Friday an audition for ensemble “Theaterraum” (테아터라움 – 철학하는 몸), where I sat in as a guest juror.

유랑 억척어멈, 극단 사니너머

Wandering Mother Courage by Theatre Company SaniNeomeo

And on Saturday, finally, in the theatre: Wandering Mother Courage (유랑 억척어멈), an adaptation of Brecht’s classic by Theater Company SaniNeomeo (극단 사니너머) in Daehangno.

In all three cases, people were playing roles – persons like Belle and Gaston, ad-hoc monologues of non-descript origin, or Mother Courage and her children – as well as themselves, in one way or another.

At the “German Night”, everyone knew everyone. For me, it was part of the fun seeing my students perform characters from a Disney movie in German, yet remaining distinctively themselves, complete with idiosyncrasies I knew from class. And it seemed that I was not alone in this regard.

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(Beauty and the Beast, performed by 1st year students of German Language and Literature at Sungshin University)

At the audition, too, it was not so much about the lines spoken and characters played, but about showcasing acting skills and professional flexibility, followed by a convincing self-performance in the interview that followed. As I didn’t know any of the auditors and might never see them again (or, sometime, on another stage), the potential rather than the familiar was central.

The theatre, then, was a mixed bag. A cast of various actors, young and old, some playing several roles, together giving a quite orthodox performance of the piece, despite the relocation to post-World-War-II-Korea. Not as “Brechtian” as I had expected, the acting was mostly naturalist, everyone fitting their clothes, so to say. Of course, during the curtain call the fourth wall was broken. You might be able to spot me applauding from the first row in this video:

(Video by Theatre Company SaniNeomeo, via Youtube)

Using a concept developed by Erika Fischer-Lichte as part of her aesthetics of the performative (“perceptive multistability”, in The Transformative Power of Performance, Routledge 2008), the difference between these three acts can be described in terms of switches between “perceptive orders”, in this case mostly between different semantic readings: Student A and the Beast; someone persuading her friend not to commit suicide (one of the improvisation tasks) and a young actor trying to get cast; Mother Courage and an experienced diva receiving her well-earned ovations while embracing the rest of the ensemble.

For an art like pansori, where a solo performer changes constantly between narration and acting, singing and speaking, playing and addressing the audience, mapping switches of perception might prove more productive. But it might also help to approach some of the charms of amateur theatre and the weirdness of auditions, especially when actors are not only cast for specific roles, but as potential members for ensemble work.

With Brecht, it’s of course a whole different story… more to come!

— 23–25 Nov. 2017 (木–土)

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Playing German in Korea: Students of Sungshin University Premiere “Thieves” by Dea Loher

Like in other countries, theatre plays an important part in Korean college life. Student productions of original language plays (Korean: woneo-[yeon]geuk 원어[연]극 原語[演]劇) in particular have fulfilled a major role in the transmission of foreign drama to Korea. For example, the first production of Shakespeare in Korea, Julius Caesar, was staged by students of Seoul Commercial College “in Elizabethan English” in 1925, followed productions of The Merchant of Venice (1929) and The Taming of the Shrew (1931) at the college that later became Ewha Womans University (see Joo-Hyon Kim, “Shakespeare In Korea”, Shakespeare Review 38.3 [2002]: 813–816, here: 814).

This year, the bi-annual German-language play at Sungshin University (where I teach) was Dea Loher’s Thieves (Diebe, Kor. 도둑들). After some classics by Brecht, Schnitzler, or Dürrenmatt (and an adaptation of Michael Ende’s Momo!), once again a contemporary play. Also, it was the Korean premiere. There had been [a guest performance by Deutsches Theater], where the piece had premiered in 2010 (LG Art Center, 2014), but this is the very first domestic production.

Unfortunately, I could not attend the final performance because I was at a conference that weekend. Nevertheless, what I saw at the rehearsals when helping with pronunciation was fabulous, creative and absolutely funny renderings of the odd characters that populate the play. The production was a great success, as I could later see on video, with wonderful acting, ironic scenes, and, of course, almost perfect German. I’m terribly proud!

(all rehearsal photos courtesy of Sungshin University, Department of German Language and Literature)

Based on my experiences during the production process, I wrote a short essay on “Playing German” from a pedagogical perspective. How does the experience of embodying characters who speak German, interacting in situations set in Germany, and struggling with the ambiguities of the episodic, sometimes grotesque plot of Thieves contribute to finding a way to appropriate a foreign language for oneself? I try to answer some of these questions (in German) in an essay which has been published in DaF-Szene Korea (the journal of Lektoren-Vereinigung Korea, the Association of [German-language] Lecturers in Korea) and is available online (PDF). For those interested in German-language college productions, there is another report on various projects at Incheon National University by Michael Menke (pp. 20–23).

— 17–18 March 2017 (金–土)

  • 제 22회 성신여자대학교 독문과 원어연극 “Diebe(도둑들)”, 원작: 데아 로허
    연출: 김정, 기획: 서민지, 출연 및 스탭: 성신여대 독어독문학과 전공생, 2017년 3월 17일 (오호 7시), 18일 (오후 2시, 7시), 성신여대 수정홀, 무료입장.

  • The 22nd Sungshin University German Language Original Play “Diebe” (Thieves) by Dea Loher, directed by Kim Jeong, production: Seo Minji, actors and staff: students of the German Language and Literature Department, performances on March 17 (7pm) and 18 (2pm, 7pm), Sungshin University, Sujeong Hall, entrance free.

  • Jan Creutzenberg, “‘Deutsch Spielen’ – Eine studentische Produktion von Dea Lohers Theaterstück ‘Diebe’ an der Sungshin University” (Playing German: A Student Production of Dea Loher’s Drama ‘Thieves’ at Sungshin University), DaF-Szene Korea 44 (May 2017). [full issue as PDF]

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Toilet People: Representing Struggles of North Korean Refugees on Stage

I found the flyer by chance (after a meeting for our then upcoming symposium “Pansori in Europe”) at the Korean Culture Center in Berlin. Playwright Lee Yeo-Jin (이여진) would present and talk about her recent work Toilet People (토일릿 피플, 2015).

I hadn’t seen anything from her, but the announcement by Dr. Holmer Brochlos (my first Korean teacher at Freie Universität), who hosted the evening, sounded promising: In her works, Lee Yeo-Jin combines satirical and phantastic elements to address current issues in Korea.

Toilet People is about a group of refugees from North Korea, now resettled in the South. The play focuses on continuing discussions between the head-doctor of a counselling center for traumatised refugees and a politician, the former applying for government funding for what seems to be a good cause. At the Cultural Center, several students of FU, scattered around the auditorium (filled to the last seat!), presented a reading of the first scenes. With the doctor and the politician interpreting, questioning, and finally denying the stories told by the refugees (who pop up and re-tell their tales), it soon becomes clear that the refugees – all called “Hann” (한결, i.e. “united as one” in the original) – are pawns in larger games but also have their own agenda.

Premiere of Toilet People (Arko Arts Theater, February–March 2016)

Opening the following debate, Lee Yeo-jin expressed her intentions to shine a light on the ambivalent reactions in South Korean society to the increasing number of refugees from the North of the peninsula. Nominally members of the same people, the variety of terms (e.g. 탈민자, 새토민, 피난자), each with their own connotations, show the ambivalent reception of the “Brothers and Sisters in the North” (thus the title of Cho Sung-Hyung’s (조성형, homepage) latest documentary film that is well aware of the ambiguity in these inter-Korean family relations).

In the course of the Q&A it became clear that Lee had not conducted interviews with refugees herself. Nevertheless, her work seems to be research-based. She directly references, among others, German doctor and refugee activist Dr. Flaschen, who suggests in a Wall Street Journal-article to send radios to the North in order to provoke collective rebellion through education. In the play, multifunctional lavatories serve a similar function, a technological means to “safe” North Koreans. (I couldn’t find any reference to Dr. Flaschen, though.)

A lively discussion followed Lee’s explanations, ranging from comparisons with East-West-German relations (Brochlos noted that communication across the “wall” was much easier), the universal fact of refugees being used for others’ causes, and the perspective of young Koreans vis-à-vis North Koreans at their school or university. One attendant brought up her unease and wondered whether she should treat North Korean refugees like children of “multicultural families” (다문화 가정, usually referring to Korean men who married women from South-East-Asian countries).

Lee Yeo-jin also compared the struggles of North Korean refugees in South Korean society with the challenges on the competitive job market that all young Koreans face, suggesting that the situation of refugees may serve as a metaphor for the general precarity of Koreans today. But wouldn’t that reading amount to an exploitation of refugees’ suffering, once again for a seemingly “good cause”, to make a point on stage?

Revival of Toilet People (Sogang University, Mary Hall, June–July 2017)

Another interesting question concerned casting choices: Were “real” North Koreans considered as actors? Toilet People is right now on show in Seoul. In the production by ensemble “Little Legend” (극단 작은신화, on Facebook) that premiered last year at ARKO Arts Theater (2016.2.25–3.13) and is shown again at Sogang University’s Mary Hall (“currently” at the time of writing, 2017.6.29–7.9), the refugee roles are played by (South Korean) actors who have practiced “North Korean dialect” (Lee wasn’t sure if she could say it like that, but I suppose she meant dialects of provinces located in the North).

Of course, the mere fact of putting (fictional) refugees on stage implies problems of representation, which are also tackled, for example, by German theatre productions that are about and/or involve refugees. (See the short bibliography below.)

Looking forward to see Lee Yeo-jin’s Toilet People on stage, whether in Korea or in Germany, where an English-language reading took place at art space Non Berlin earlier this month… A full-fledged production in German might be a timely intervention into one of the most daring problems German society is dealing with right now.

As a preview, the following video trailer from 2016 must sufffice:

— 5 July 2017 (수)

Further reading on theatre facing the current “refugee crisis” in Germany, in chronological order:

  • Fazila Bhimji, “Collaborations and Performative Agency in Refugee Theater in Germany”, *Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies* 14.1 (2016): 83-103. Link
  • Katrin Sieg, “Refugees in German Documentary Theatre”, *Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques* 14 (Dec. 2016). Link
  • Jürgen Berger, “Realities of Life – How the Theater Is Responding to the Theme of ‘Migration’”, transl. Jonathan Uhlaner, homepage of Goethe Institut (2011). Link
  • Dorothea Marcus, “Theatre of Refugees: Awakening Silent Knowledge”, transl. Jonathan Uhlaner, homepage of Goethe Institut (2016). Link
  • Dorothea Marcus, “Theatre Projects of Refugee Artists: Away from Suffering Porn”, transl. Jonathan Uhlaner, homepage of Goethe Institut (2016). Link
  • Jürgen Berger, “Symposium on the Future of the Theatre: On Behalf of Refugee Aid”, transl. Jonathan Uhlaner, homepage of Goethe Institut (2016). Link
  • Emily Goodling, “How the Refugee Crisis is Playing out on the German Stage”, *The Conversation* (2017). Link
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Upcoming Pansori and Changgeuk at the National Theater: The National Repertory Season 2017–18

The National Theater of Korea just presented its upcoming “National Repertory Season 2017–18” (국립극장 레퍼토리시즌). Every year, during the summer break, fans of gugak, pansori, and changgeuk are looking forward which new pieces will be shown, which earlier productions will be shown again (thus made it into the repertory), and who is featured in the “Wanchang Pansori”-series – and if it is not discontinued. (It is not – and the two first performances are Chunhyang-ga by Yu Su-jeong and Simcheong-ga by Heo Ae-seon!)

(c) National Theater of Korea

It is the fifth season, from the beginning under the artistic direction of Kim Seong-nyeo (김성녀, 국립창극단 예술감독), which already featured several bold experiments but rather few long-term sellers. (See an earlier post for my preview of the first National Repertory Season 2012–13)

This year, surprises are few. Nevertheless, the season sounds promising. Here is the brief run-down of the upcoming performances by the National Changgeuk Company (국립창극단), followed by some comments (click on the posters for the official production


First, a new piece by Lee Jaram (이자람) in February 2018 (maybe this time with her on stage?), which is of course always welcome. Whether her yet unnamed production will kick of a “New Changgeuk”-series (新창극) remains to be seen. Also, last year’s Mr Heungbo (흥보씨), that seems to have attracted many audiences, is shown again in June 2018 – great for me, as I couldn’t see it in spring 2016 and now have another chance. Interestingly, the venue has changed from the main stage of the National Theater on Namsan to the recently renovated and more centrally located Myeongdong Theater.

(c) National Theater of Korea

(c) National Theater of Korea

The revival of Ong Keng Sen’s adaptation of Euripides Women of Troy (트로이의 여인) in November 2017, a production I first saw last year, is likewise a safe bet. The piece combined pansori singing by some of the greatest members of the ensemble and a story about female loss and post-war mourning quite persuasively.Women of Troy also travels to London in June 2018 and there is a special event with tickets and round trips to the UK as prizes.

The most astonishing news is the changgeuk-adaptation of The Wildfire (산불), premiering rather soon in October. Who will adapt and stage this classic Korean post-war drama by Cha Beom-seok (차범석, translated as “Burning Mountain” by Janet Poole) is not yet clear. I wonder if this is in fact a revival of the 2007 production, adapted and directed by Park Seong-hwan (박성환), or a completely new production (the latter seems to be the case).

(c) National Theater of Korea

In 2007, still under the artistic direction of Yu Yeong-dae (유영대), Wildfire was among the first pieces in a series of “Young Changgeuk” (젊은 창극) that – unfortunately – remained rather short. The production was revived the following year, but since then there has been no changgeuk-version of a original Korean play, although some theatre director Han Tae-suk (한태숙) staged a changgeuk based on the folk tale of Janghwa [and] Hongryeon (장화홍련, 2012) and several Western classics (including Medea, Orfeo, and Women of Troy) were staged as changgeuk.

(c) National Theater of Korea

After three years of new madang nori-plays (based on classical pansori) every end-of-year, the first one (Simcheong is Coming, 심청이 온다, from 2013) is shown again this winter. It seems that these large-scale in-the-round comedies, featuring well-known singers and all directed (so far) by madang nori godfather Son Jin-chaek (손진책), turned out audience magnets, as they are usually shown for quite a while, this time more than two months, from early December until mid-February.

(c) National Theater of Korea

Son Jin-chaek is also listed as the director of a new changgeuk-piece (tentatively) called Jin Chae-seon (진채선), to premiere in April 2018. It is about the eponimous first female pansori singer who lived in the second half of the 19th century. The poster suggests, however, that the plot is set in contemporary times. There have been several productions by ensemble Taroo that deal with this subject matter (Jin Chae-seon in 2011, Unhyeon Palace Romance in 2013, Jin Chae-seon’s Story in 2014), as well as a feature film two years ago, so that my excitement is not as high as it could be. Nevertheless, this piece fits well with another adaptation of a pansori-related plot, Seopyeonje (서편제, 2013), based the novels by Lee Cheong-jun (이청준) and the eponymous movie (available online, thanks to the Korean Film Archive).

Already in November, the (traditional) National Orchestra of Korea (국립국악관현악단) presents a cross-over event, presumably parts from all five (canonical) pieces of pansori – thus the title – performed by the orchestra. Innovative experiment or uninteresting fusion? Remains to be seen, or rather: heard.

(c) National Theater of Korea

A variety of pieces, some appealing to popular taste, other to theatregoers and fans of experimental music theatre – I’m looking forward to some new approaches to changgeuk!

— 17 July 2017 (月)

Productions by the National Changgeuk Company of Korea and other Pansori Related Events at the National Theater (National Repertory Season 2017–18)



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