środa, 22 października 2014

NANTA - the cooking show

Do you remember being in college and working in a downtown restaurant for some extra cash?
If you have ever worked in a restaurant even just for a day, it’s a MUST see show for you. 

Perfect knife skills
I have seen half an hour NANTA performance few weeks ago, during The Asian Games in Incheon, where the group members performed this show (well, part of it) to promote Korean cuisine. I was impressed then, but what I have seen last night was just fabulous. I saw carrots and cabbage flying all over the kitchen set on stage, thing I would not necessarily expect in a theatre even if the show is a comedy. As I am a lousy cook myself, I was extremely impressed with knife skills of the actors! 
I think some of the chefs could take a class or two from them on how to use knifes and cleavers.

NANTA during Asian Games in Incheon
NANTA is a non-verbal performance. Since it's presented through music and motions, there is no language barrier, even for younger audience. I heard kids laughing up loud side by side with their parents and other adults including myself, and that’s not easily achievable in my case. The show combines rhythms from Korean folk music and rhythms of Samul Nori with modern musical forms to create an experience very unique but familiar to the international audience.
Samul Nori refers to the performance of four musicians playing and dancing with different Korean traditional percussion instruments. The Korean word "samul" means "four things", and "nori" means "to play". Therefore it means "four things playing." Just like the four actors in the show, playing on almost everything one may find in kitchen: knifes, chopping boards, pans and tables.

Sexy Chef at work
Many nonverbal performances seem to be dull because they consist of only rhythms and beats lacking in suspension. Nanta overcomes this drawback by combining a storyline with various comic scenes set in a kitchen as its background and it does it so well, that in my opinion it should be a compulsory performance for all restaurant or broader, hospitality workers toimprove their morale once in a while.

The plot
Four cooks start their day.
While they are busy preparing the vegetables and organizing the kitchen, a bad tempered manager appears. He orders them to prepare the food for a wedding by 6 o'clock in the afternoon.
The cooks, who had not been told about this event, are caught completely off-guard.
They start preparing the food, but things don't go on smoothly.
The cooks struggle to prepare the dishes and ask audience members to help them – that’s your chance for the 15 min of fame as two audience members are asked to join actors on stage.
The wedding banquet draws to a successful conclusion.

On a side of the main plot we have a chance to observe romantic scenes between the sexy guy (cook) and the female cook while in the kitchen alone. Who knows, maybe that’s the reason why sometimes we have to wait forty five minutes for a starter? It’s really great fun to see the side of restaurants we know so little about, most of us know those places very well but from the perspective of the guest, not necessarily the cook. This show is a good opportunity to find out what the kitchen drill is!

Samul Nori by NANTA
NANTA is popular not only in Korea, the world tour included 20 countries from Asia, Australia, Europe where the performance was sold out on the Edinburgh Festival and North America, where the show was hosted in New Victory Theater on Broadway.

A good fun in a great form!

A BIG THANK YOU to PMC production's PR team for allowing me to use pictures and the video. Kamsamnida!

Myeongdong Nanta Theatre
Monday-Sunday & Holidays: 14:00, 17:00, 20:00


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