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 madanggŭk. 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, madanggŭk 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 email@example.com.
Added by nyckorea on May 10, 2004