18 Aug 2015 | Seoul, South Korea —
I never expected I’d be able to get the chance to watch THE amazing and famous live show called Cookin’ Nanta in Myeongdong, the shopping capital of Seoul. Other theaters can be found in Hongdae, Chungjeongno and Jeju Island, too.
It has been internationally acclaimed since they started their first show in October 10, 1997. According to their July 2014 statistics written in the brochure, there were over 9 million viewers of 29,913 shows in 51 countries including USA, UK, Japan, etc. and 289 cities during their world tour. The story is about a manager who orders 10 different menus for a wedding banquet and the chefs must finish them in an hour. One doesn’t need to learn Korean to understand the plot. It’s a comical, dialogue-less performance with more of dancing, playing with knives and many other cooking utensils inspired by the Korean samulnori, a bit of magic and audience participation. The show lasts about an hour and forty minutes with 5 cast members only.
They don’t allow photos and video taking during the show. But, I got these shots:
Here’s a Youtube video from WorldCultureNetworks:
I don’t mind watching it over again, except it’s quite pricey for a 100min show but it’s definitely worth it.
1. Nanta (난타) – wild beating
2. Samulnori (사물놀이) is a genre of traditional percussion music originating in Korea. The word samul means “four objects” and nori means “play”. It is performed with four pungmul (traditional Korean musical instruments). It has its roots in Pungmulnori (literally “Korean traditional percussion instruments playing”), a Korean folk genre comprising music, acrobatics, folk dance, and rituals, which was traditionally performed in rice farming villages in order to ensure and to celebrate good harvests. ©Wikipedia
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Address: 3F Unesco Building, 50-14, Myeong Dong 2 Ga, Jung Gu, Seoul