Sunday, May 26, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Nanta Show

Nanta Show - South Korea 
longest running live show
         Nov/23/12, 6.00 pm. After a forgetable Chinese dinner, we headed early to watch a live show during our last night in Seoul Korea - Nanta show, also known as Cookin' Nanta, is a South Korean non-verbal comedy show that incorporate traditional Samul nori rhythm. The musical has a simple back story of three cooks attempting to finish preparing a wedding banquet within a strict time limit while the manager installs his incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime and audience participation. The unifying element throughout the musical is the use of traditional Korean samul nori music, which in this case in performed with improvised instruments, such as cutting boards, water canisters and kitchen knives. The performance is almost completely non-verbal. The very few words which are spoken are mostly in English.
          We enjoyed the show and laughed at the silly slapstick using vegetables and kitchen utensil to make music. Little M laughed the loudest at the silly restaurant manager. As the show progressed on the slapstick worn off and we laughed less and less. After the first hour the plot seems to get drier and drier. Then when they got participation from the audience, the show just gone downhill from there. I was glad when it ended, as by then my bottom had started to ache for sitting too long on the hard seat. Nevertheless it was still a good sit-back-and-enjoy-non-verbal show. With the end of the show, the curtain also closing in on our time in South Korea. We cal it a night early as we have to leave Seoul in the wee hours tomorrow for the journey home.
        After 7 days of touring of South Korea, we were by then raring to go home. It had been a fruitful 7 days and we enjoyed our time in South Korea very much included the Nanta Show which was indeed our last piece of activity. The following day we were taken to a souvenir near Incheon Airport for breakfast. After a bowl of tasteless noodle in kimchi soup, we went up to the souvenir shop where we bought some goodies and souvenirs to take back home to distribute to friends and relatives.
       Here are some pictures I took at Nanta Show.
Location: MyeongDong NANTA Theatre, 3F UNESCO Bldg., Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Tel: +82-2-739-8288
Tip: Do book tickets online to save on cost!

The world famous Nanta show quartet. They used kitchens utensil to make music.
It is cheaper to book and buy ticket online. 

Kitchen apparels from Nanta show on sale at the souvenir shop as one exit once the show ended.
Cute caricature of Nanta show decorated the wall of the theater.
It is indeed a world famous show, popular due to its non-verbal, so it can close the gap of language divide. The information on the wall illustrated where Nanta show was being shown around the world.
Mummy M stole a moment to picture with the kitchen utensils on display. They were not used on the show, but merely replicas of the utensils that was used in the show. It shows that with a little bit of ingenuity, one can transform any ordinary household items into an entertaining art form.
The show was about to begin. We were the early bird, not knowing what to expect. There were slide shows reminded the audience not to take photographs, not to make noise and to put hand-phone in silent mode when the show is in session.
The show started with lights from twirling lights from ribbons attached to hats adorned by dancers who later became the musicians. This dance is called Chaesang-sogo where the dancer dances by twirling the long ribbon attached to his crown, making the ribbon spiral and circled around his body. The dance requires great skill, concentration and a keen sense of rhythm, as the constantly shifting movement of the long ribbon must remain fluid and uninterrupted and must not interfere with the sogo performance.
....then the lights came on and we can see the dancers clearly. 3 guys and 1 lady just like in the poster and cartoon caricature. Well, they were not the same quartet as depicted in the poster. I was later told that Nanta show had many groups of crew working in shift performing the same Nanta show across Korea and the world. All the story line are the same but only the dancers are different.
Throwing balls time nearing the end of the show. Despite no picture allowed, I quickly snapped one out of boredom. Actually I were not sure why this activity was included into the show. I guessed they ran out of idea and thought everyone would likes small plastic balls, and they threw out to the audience and the audience participate by throwing back the balls.
A statue with Thank you writings lighted up when the shows ended. Overall it was good. The only slack thing about this show was it was too long and some time-wasting moment can be cut out. Nevertheless for those who had not seen a Nanta Show before, go see one. It is well worth your money. 

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