New York City, New York

The Korean cultural exchange group Ari-Corea will perform at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10. Both performances will last from 5 ? 7 p.m. Ari-Corea will perform a type of contemporary Korean percussion music known as samulnori, and will present The Story of Sama-jangja and His Heaven, a comic play.

Ari-Corea is made up of four excelling theatre students from Chung-Ang University, Seoul. These four students are on a worldwide tour to raise interest in Korean culture, as well as to learn firsthand about the cultures of other countries. Their performance program is specially selected to give foreignors a window into the modern Korean arts culture.

Samulnori became popular in Korea in the late 1970s. This music?s energizing and dynamic rhythms have made it a hit with audiences not only in Korea, but all over the globe. Four traditional Korean instruments are involved in the performance of samulnori: the kkwaenggari (a small gong), the jing (a larger gong), the janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum), and the buk (a drum). The kkwaenggari and the jing, both of which have a metallic, clinky timbre, symbolize the sounds of heaven, while the janggu and the buk, which have a thick, warm sound, symbolize the sounds of earth. A performance of samulnori is therefore considered to be a marriage of the sounds of earth and heaven.

The play to be performed, The Story of Sama-jangja and His Heaven, is an example of a type of Korean masked dance-drama known as madanggÅ­k. This type of drama gained political importance in the 1970s as an essential segment of the Korean students? push for democratization in their country. At that time, madanggÅ­k offered a venue for popular expression of criticism of the military regime then in power. A creation play, The Story of Sama-jangja and His Heaven promotes filial duty and virtuous actions. No one will merely sit on the sidelines as a spectator, but the entire audience will be drawn into this open-air performance event.

Ari-Corea?s appearance in Central Park presents a unique opportunity for audiences to experience traditional Korean music and theater as it exists in modern-day Korea.
Bethesda Terrace is located in the middle of Central Park, parallel to 72nd Street. For more information, contact Rachel Van Kirk by telephone at (212) 759-9550 or via email at

Added by nyckorea on May 10, 2004

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