niedziela, 12 października 2014

The tale of Chunhyang - a dance of love

Duty calls again. This time us, the Libra went to watch and review The tale of Chunhyang, one of Korea’s most popular stories passed down in the form of pansori. This time incorporated in balet..

Even though we don't belong to pansori fun club (we still learn to appreciate this form of music art), the amount of pansori which was beautifully sang by 안숙선 was just enough to appreciate its beauty.We will have a remarkable opportunity to attend a pansori performance shortly, we’ll see if we are already ready for it, or our ear is still too westernised. We did enjoy Kabuki  few weeks ago when in Tokyo and that took us by surprise, so who knows? 

I will stop referring to myself as us or we, the queen or, otherwise I will scare all the readers out, after all I am not Charles Spencer, well… at least, not yet.
Going back to the performance. 

The tale of Chunhyang is a story of love between Chunhyang, the daughter of a gisaeng (Korean equivalent of Geisha) and Mongnyong , son of a local aristocrat. The action takes place during the early part of king Sukjong’s reign that was XI-XII century(1095-1105).
When I found out in a performance's leaflet that The tale of Chunhyang is a very Korean story in a very western form I thought to myself, how westernised can it be if it was written in XII century Korea? Well, it was not only westernised, it was western. Without knowing the background one might have thought that it was western musical.

Wolmae, a retired Kisaeng, has a daughter Chunhyang known for her exceptional beauty. She attracts the attention of Mongnyong- a young aristocrat who sees her on a swing one spring day and they instantly fall in love with each other. 

But their happiness is cut short when Mongnyong has to leave with his father, the governor, who has been transferred to the capital. The new governor, Byun, is overvelmed by Chunhyang’s beauty and orders her to be his concubine. Chunhyang refuses, ends up in prison and is sentenced to death for rejecting governors’ request. 
Meanwhile Mongnyong passes his civil service exam, and is appointed as a secret inspector for the king. He arrives in their home village just in time to save Chunhyang from being executed. They lived happily ever after.

The theatre was very little, 201-seat on the 3rd floor of the Seongam Art Center in Nonhyeon 2-dong in the Gangnam District. It felt more like a part of backstage than the theatre. 
I thought at first it will affect the performance as I was sitting in a first row, but it didn’t. 
Matter of fact I felt almost intimate with artists. It was like I was attending final rehearsal being a part of production team instead of an audience member. 

As there was no borderline drawn between me and the stage, downstage finished where my seat started, I had a rare opportunity to observe how it is marked so dancers stay on the right position, seeing all those lines and crosses almost made me feel special, as I had an opportunity to snick into the private and intimate relationship between actors and the stage. 

All combinations and allegros were perfectly danced, I didn’t want to notice some shaky pirouettes, that didn’t matter, I just wanted to enjoy the overall experience. 
The cast was mixed. Students rubbing shoulders with seasoned pros, some of them very good indeed. I have noticed one girl, her moves made me focused on her during the whole hour of the performance; extremely flexible, with a real grace in her moves and astonishing face expressions. 
I highly recommend this performance to anyone who loves and appreciates art in a form of dance, music and theatre. Even if you are not sure of your feelings towards ballet itself, this performance is only an hour long and can be a good trial before visiting Bolshoi Theatre or the Paris Opera Ballet.

2 komentarze:

  1. To musialo byc przepiekne przedstawienie baletowe. Poprzednia relacja z przekraczania rownika byla bardzo ciekawa. Dziekuje.

    1. Dziękujemy!
      Małżonka chodzi na balety, a ja w tym czasie witałem Neptuna :)


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