▲ “Fanta-Stick” combines traditional Korean and percussion music with various types of modern performance to create a memorable show.Photo courtesy HEARA Inc.
Having opened early last month at the Sound Island Museum, in the Jungmun Tourist Complex in Seogwipo City, the non-verbal musical “Fanta-Stick” is a family-orientated performance that re-imagines traditional Korean and percussion music.
Hahm Ju Hee, a manager at HEARA Inc., the company which developed the performance, explained that Director Jee Yun Sung, a former percussionist actor, came up with the idea to promote the beauty of Korean music to non-Koreans while travelling abroad.
Because the show is aimed at non-Korean audiences, it was decided that a non-verbal performance would be appropriate. When there is dialogue though, it is translated. For example, occasionally during the performance a synopsis is projected onto a screen in several languages including English, Chinese, and Japanese.
Revolving around the story of a loving couple who are forced apart only to reunite long after, the live Korean traditional music, percussion performances, and even break dancing and beat boxing are mixed in harmony to tell this tale. The various kinds of performance and the constantly changing atmosphere made the hall uproarious throughout the entire musical.
As for the Korean instruments on stage, including a gayageum (12-stringed Korean zither), a geomungo (six-stringed Korean zither), a haegeum (two-stringed Korean zither), and a sogeum (a wooden flute) are all mobilized. Also, small and large drums are used, sometimes to excite the audience and sometimes to enhance the tension of the story.
Lee Roon Da, the director in charge of training the actors in percussion and rhythm, told The Weekly that it was difficult to cast Korean music majors so they chose actors and gave them two to three months of percussion training. He added, “At first, almost everyone didn’t know even the basic skills.” That remark was surprising because the people on stage look very professional.
For his favorite scene, when the two lovers finally reunite, he talked of how wonderful the moment is when the entire cast utilize all of the instruments to create a beautiful, harmonized melody.
Lee Hyun Joo, a woman in the audience who came to Jeju on holiday with her husband and two daughters, brought a coupon from their Jungmun hotel.
“Because it is a musical performance, we could enjoy it with the kids,” she said. “I liked the frantic and noisy atmosphere.”
Charles, another member of the audience visiting Jeju on holiday, said, “It was a great show. I was very impressed. I want to go see more shows like it.”
The permanent show, which is supervised by JST Inc., is held every Tuesday to Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost 50,000 won (R seats) and 40,000 won (S seats). Jeju islanders with ID receive a 50 percent discount.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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