Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A "Fanta-stick" and "Bibap" weekend

It was a busy, musical weekend here in Seoul! As a May monitoring team member for the K-Performance Supporters, I have four Korean musicals and shows to see this month. Rob's birthday was this past weekend, so he tagged along on a recent trip to see a performance of "Fanta-stick", and then I ventured out to see "Bibap" for Mother's Day.

Fanta-stick is a Fusion Gugak performance - a mix of contemporary and traditional elements of Korean music and dance.

The comedy show was a fun one to watch, with a story line involving a modern-day car repair garage, ancient star-crossed lovers, ghosts, and a musical battle involving a drum and a flute.

It was nice to hear some traditional instruments mixed with the recorded dance music, including the daegeum (horizontal flute), haegeum (fiddle-like), ajaeng (zither-like), and janggu (drum).  Click on their names to see a picture and description. I think a future trip to the musical instrument market will be in order, so we can bring home a few as souvenirs!

The true highlight for me, however, came when the cast was performing the audience participation segment of the show(which it seems every K-Performance show has, so far). Rob was not showing

enough enthusiasm during the call and response section, it seems, so he was the one called up on stage! He had to perform a simple drumming rhythm with the cast (with some added choreography, of course) and was definitely a good sport about it. It was priceless, and I truly wish I had broken the "no cameras" rule to snap a photo, but he walked away with some cool swag.  Happy Birthday, Rob!  ;)

On the way to the theater, we had to walk through a school and embassy district, where a craft fair was in progress. We also stumbled upon these interesting art pieces (there are huge statues all over Seoul).  The first was the artist's depiction of a family standing against the elements in the harsh winter, inspired by a group of kimchi pots seen covered in snow that looked human.  

The second is a wooden bench sculpture outside of the Canadian Embassy.


On Sunday, I got a short reprieve from an unsuccessful day of potty training with Michael (UGH!  Don't ask!) and went to go see "Bibap", which is billed as a delicious musical.

I was really not sure what to expect. Based on some quick research, and this entryway art, I knew it was a food themed musical with two competing master chefs.

What it really ended up being was a true "K-Performance" (Korean show with mixed arts) - the singers/performers were accompanied by onstage beat boxers, there were two B-Boy/break dancers, one martial artist, and singers.  They all danced at varying times, and it was definitely a comedy, complete with the pre-requisite audience interaction and participation. 

It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it, though I did have flashbacks to the end of "Lord of the Rings" towards the end of the show- once the storyline was finished, they then brought everyone out for more solo/group performances to showcase their different genres.  
This is my "okay-I-think-it's-done-now" face.  ;)

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