Before entering the theater, the lobby of Jeongdong Theater caught my attention. Just like how it produces traditional Korean performances as a professional theater, the interior resembled that of a hanok (a traditional Korean house). With elegantly striped windows and seats designed to look like traditional wooden seats, the small and tidy exhibition space did not look like a theater but rather a cultural heritage space. The staff and ushers wore traditional Korean costumes, hanbok, and the scene of the staff checking tickets while wearing clothes that suit the interior space left me a deep impression. I left the memorable lobby to enter the theater, and little did I know, my day was about to be filled with a great deal of fun and entertainment.
<The Palace: Tale of Jang Noksu> is a “friendly performance”. For people who might be unfamiliar with traditional performances, the performance tried to reduce their distance to traditional performances. Throughout the performance, the story proceeded at a close distance from the audience. At the start of the performance, the performers presented traditional Korean games and the audience was welcomed to join on stage, and this segment lasted for a rather long time while proceeding with a fast pace. An opening without a distant feeling like this one allows one to accept the unfamiliar theater and view it as one that is friendlier, and also reduced the psychological distance between the actors on stage and the audience in the seats. Moreover, throughout the performance, the transitions of many scenes were also proceeded at the audience seats which continuously held the attention of the audience.
Traditional Korean dances was undeniably the focus of the performance, and the performance tried to approach it boldly in a more modern way. For example, breaking away from the stiff image of actors, the comedic elements or facial expressions of the actors had a more natural and everyday-like acting, revealing another charm of the performance in a different way. Also, taking into consideration the entertainment of the show, the story of Jang Noksu, her relationship with Prince Je-an and other elements was interpreted in a new way, . Due to the familiar content, the audience could follow the unfolding of the plot quickly and immerse into the show.
The performance showed Janggo dance, Gyobang dance, boat dance and other traditional Korean dances that expressed the beauty of Korea. Various kinds of hanbok were seen which brought another kind of entertainment while watching the show.
In addition, the unique part of the show was the non-verbal aspect which required an efficient way to convey the plot. Not only did this require the extensive use of the performers’ facial expressions, body movements and dancing, the lighting was also utilised extensively. To express the stage effects and sudden circumstances of the plot, the constantly changing lighting played a huge role. This was amplified by detailed directing which allowed for the message of key scenes to be conveyed accurately to the audience while maintaining a fast pace.
<The Palace: Tale of Jang Noksu> is a performance which showed off its advantage in its structure. The performance showed its own weight without a feeling of distance within 75 minutes. It was a friendly performance that allowed those who find it hard to understand traditional Korean culture to approach it easily. I would strongly recommend the show to my foreigner friends and watch it together with them if they visit Korea. If performances such as <The Palace: Tale of Jang Noksu> are continually being produced, more people will be able to feel the charm of Korean culture and perhaps bring it to a whole other level.
Jeongdong Theater Tradition Series Performance <The Palace: Jang Noksu>
2018.04.05 ~ OPEN RUN
Tue – Sat 4PM (Closed on Sun & Mon)
Viewing age of 48 months and above
Choreographer_Jeong Hye Jin, Director_Oh Kyeong Taek, Writer_Kyeong Min Seon, Composer_Kim Cheol Hwan, Art Director_Park Dong Woo, Lighting Design_Sin Ho, Video Design_Jeong Jae Jin, Costume Design_Lee Ho Jun, Make-up_Kim Jong nn, Prop Design_Kim Sang Hee
http://jeongdongtheater.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ac72ae27746be8d1bd66f6d41f78fc39_ap1F81GBIHfSQ4Gok3fcR4GKZYcR.jpg1050700jdadminhttp://jeongdongtheater.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/JEONGDONG06_SIGNATURE_ENGLISH.jpgjdadmin2018-12-14 06:59:162018-12-14 07:03:58[The Palace: Tale of Jang Noksu] For Those Who Want to Feel the Charm of Traditional Korean Dance!