Introducing the beautiful cafes on Jeongdong-gil and the landmark of Jeongdong-gil

Good morning. This is Jeongdong Theater.

Sit back and relax in a cozy cafe on the pretty road and end it with a concert!

Of course, the ‘pretty road’ refers to ‘Jeongdong-gil’. Jeongdong-gil is a street that holds historical records as large as museum of Joseon Dynasty to modern Seoul. It’s also one of the best places on ‘Seoul Walking Tours’ and ‘Beautiful Roads in Korea’. Today, we will introduce the beautiful cafes on Jeongdong-gil and the landmark of Jeongdong-gil, <The Palace: Jang Nok-Su> of Jeongdong Theater!

  • LUSSO

Russo Labs is a popular brunch cafe on Jeongdong-gil. It’s so popular that the minute their doors open, the seats quickly fill up. Coffee or tea must be picked up directly from the ground floor, but when you order a meal, it is brought directly to the table.

Russo Labs is famous for its delicious coffee. Filter coffee is also available to enjoy the authentic fresh taste of roasted coffee beans from Kenya, Ethiopia and Colombia. Milk teas and Dutch cube lattes are also popular.

The spacious and luxurious interior combined with the calm Jungdong-gil view from the window, making it a perfect place to meet friends and family. Don’t miss on the delicious brunch options which include but are not limited to Egg Benedict and Basil Chicken Panini.

  • Address: 17, Jeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-772-9935
  • Weekdays 08:00 – 20:00, Weekends 09:00-20:00
  • Suggested Menu: Americano 5,000 won, Egg Benedict 13,800 won, Basil Chicken Panini 10,800 won
  • La Green LA GREEN

Cafe La Green is located along the 100th Anniversary Memorial wall and gate of Ewha Woman’s High School. Just like its name ‘La Green’, the café is filled with lots of green plants which brighten up the interior of the café.

The combination of vintage interior and the historical vibes of Jeongdong-gil conveyed through the wide glass windows makes you feel comfortable just sitting here. Perfect for a day to have a light meal with coffee, perhaps also with some cakes, cookies and/or salads. Just the thought of sitting in front of the wide windows and breathing it all in transports you to another land.

  • Address: 26, Jeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-3789-8005
  • Weekdays and Saturdays: 11:00 – 20:00
  • Suggested Menu: Americano 4,000 won, Cake 7,000 won, Penne Pasta Salad 9,600 won, Ham & Gudda Cheese Sandwich 8,500 won
  • Jeon Kwang Soo COFFEE HOUSE

This café is a small shop in the direction of Seodaemun, famous for their ‘coffee of the day’. If you’re worried about what kind of coffee to drink, you won’t regret leaving the decision to the barista in this cafe. The size of the café gives it a cozy feel to quietly enjoy a cup of coffee. The hand drip coffee is also famous, the prices differ according to the coffee beans. Double chocolate cakes, New York cheesecakes, and waffles are also available, so you can enjoy desserts with the coffee.

The second floor is decorated like an attic. The rustic chairs and tables provide comfort, and the view of Jeongdong-gil seen through the small window gives a calming feeling. It is a popular place for people who want to sit quietly, read books or enjoy dates.

  • Address: 39, Jeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-752-0289
  • 08:00 – 22:00 daily
  • Suggested Menu: Americano 4,000 won, Hand Drip Ethiopian Aricha 6,000 won, Double Chocolate Cake 6,500 won
  • Jeongdong Theater CAFE Jeongdam

‘Jeongdam’, which means ‘to share a chat in confidence,’ is a cafe in Jeongdong Theater. It usually serves as a waiting room, where people who come to the venue gather and chat here before the show starts. However, even during times when there are no shows, it is popular with people who want to drink coffee in a quiet atmosphere. One side of the cafe is made of glass, so you can see the courtyard of Jeongdong Theater. The courtyard also has an outdoor terrace, which is perfect for sitting outside and relaxing.

During this time of the year, the number of guests for ‘The Palace’ have increased so the visitors to the café have also increased. The café offers all kinds of coffee such as espresso and americano, but it is also famous for traditional tea such as citron tea and quince tea. There are also healthy teas available like mugwort tea, chrysanthemum tea, persimmon leaf tea, fresh ginseng root litte, and many more.

Cafe Jeongdam is also a popular cafe among local workers after lunch because the Ice Americano is sold at a relatively low price. Thus, if you discover Jeongdong Theater while walking along Jungdong-gil leisurely, feel free to stop by Café Jeongdam! Oh yeah. Present your tickets to the Jeongdong Theater and enjoy 10% off all drinks all day!

  • Address: 43, Jeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-751-1500
  • Suggested Menu: Americano 3,000 won, citron tea 4,000 won, brown rice five grain latte 4,000 won, fresh ginseng root spicy 6,000 won

 

Learning about Nok-su’s costumes(HANBOK) in

From slave to giseng to a member of the palace, Jang Nok-su’s dramatic life story can also be seen in the way her costume changed throughout the play.

Nok-su as a Slave..

In the beginning of the show, Jang Nok-su’s first appearance has her in plain clothes, which signifies her status as a slave. Slaves in Joseon dynasty wore very plain monotonous hanboks, only their ribbons had different colors.

Nok-su as a Giseng Performer…

Only silk is fitting to show Nok-su’s beauty and skill in this scene. In her first scene, she is still a giseng in training so their clothes are made to accompany the Janggu, which is drapped across their body. The silk enhances the fluid movements in the fast-paced Janggu dance

Jang Nok-su is shown to be an excellent artist with tremendous artistic skill. In the scene after her intense training, she dances gracefully in a beautiful red hanbok, which captivates the hearts of the guests. The hanbok and even the fan makes her dance more intense and attractive.

Nok-su in the palace!

The hanbok worn during the stage of her life emphasizes her self-confidence. Upon entry to the palace, the hanbok she wore is called, Wonsam. The wonsam is a female ceremonial topcoat in hanbok, Korean traditional clothing. It was worn by queens, high-ranking court ladies, and royalty during the Joseon dynasty of Korea. The sides are open and long enough to hide the hands.

But here’s a surprise for the audience! In the performance, there is a scene where masked servants dance around Jang Noksu and have a face-off with each other. Based on their costumes, these dancers were supposedly male actors. However, some of the actresses also appear in male costumes !!!!! Do you think you would be able to spot them in this intense scene?

Finally the last costume! At this point, Nok-su feels that the end is near and performs her last dance in front of Prince Yeonsan. In her bittersweet performance, the dramatic life of Nok-su, which seemed like a midsummer night dream, is also reiterated making the dance more emotional.  

Did you enjoy learning about Nok-su’s costumes in <The Palace: Jang Nok-Su>? If you want to see the hanbok in more detail, come on down to Jeongdong Theater to see the captivating <The Palace: Jang Nok-Su>

Korea’s traditional culture in “The Palace: Tales of Jang Nok-Su,”

As Korea’s leading traditional culture and arts theater, Jeongdong Theater hold our high quality performances that give a modern interpretation to Korean traditional culture and art in high esteem. Especially our running program “The Palace: Tales of Jang Nok-Su,” a dance musical that shows the dramatic life story of Jang Nok-Su as she progresses from slave to member of the palace through traditional dances and performances. The show also shows different traditional games in between scenes.

  1. Dapgyo Nori

The show starts with women dancing while carrying lanterns, this dance is called the “Dapgyo Nori.” Dapgyo Nori is a nationwide tradition where people cross over a bridge in a town during the night of Jeongwol Daeboreum (the first full moon of the lunar calendar) to wish for a rich harvest and a long healthy life. It is also believed that if you step on the bridge, you can get rid of twelve months of bad energy.

Look up to the sky and reach for the stars, look down to the earth and farm the land.

This year’s a good harvest; next year’s a good harvest.

Dear moon, bright moon, bright as daylight,

This game dates as far back as Goryeo Dynasty. However, it differs in different provinces. For example, in Seoul, 12 bridges must be crossed but, in some provinces, crossing 3 or the oldest bridge is sufficient.

  1. Plate Spinning and Bean Bag Tossing

After the Dapgyo Nori, the actors invite two members of the audience to the stage and play the games together. Plate spinning is a very old traditional game of spinning a ‘plate-like’ object using a stick with a pointed tip of about 40cm, making it a game of concentration and stamina. The bean bag toss is also a lot of fun as the two audience members compete against each other to see who can put the most bean bags in each colander. At the end, participants get a prize.

  1. Jeogeobi Nori

Jeogeobi Nori is a festival associated with a type of doll or human figurine called a Jeongaebi or Jeonggyeongi that is made from straw and characterized by its oversized penis. During the Gyeonggi dodanggut, a ritual exorcism, the performers beat this doll at the end, sing a song, and carry it outside to burn it, an act which symbolizes the burning of ‘bad energy’. For our performance, a modern reinterpretation was created around this doll. Dodanggut was chosen because it retains the core Korean rhythm patterns and is well-structured in terms of musical techniques and the dance movements also show the basics of Korean dance movement.

  1. Samulnori

The play ends with an exciting samulnori performance. Samulnori is a street performance that was reborn in 1978 as a performance genre. The traditional piece of music played with four different types of musical instruments: The Korean word “samul” refers to four instruments ― the “jing,” a large gong; “kkwaenggwari,” a small gong; “janggo,” an hourglass-shaped drum; and “buk,” a barrel drum ― “nori” means to play. Thus, the meaning of the term is the playing of four instruments. Samulnori is often confused with Pungmulnori, but the two are quite different. Based on the name, the biggest difference is the number of instruments. In addition to the four instruments used in Samulnori, Pungmulnori adds Sogo and Taepyeongso and is a comprehensive game that combines dance, talk, play, play and ritual. In Samulnori, four people play indoors, but Pungmulnori often plays outside. Either way, both are a pleasure to watch.

 

From the beginning of the performance to the final stage of the finale, our dances, our melodies, our culture, our play, etc. takes the emotions on a ride that is exhilarating and sometimes sad. Come watch <The Palace: The Tale of Jang Nok-Su> with the family and enjoy the ride.