The Korea Herald


Pansori, shadow puppetry combined in 'Tale of Seocheon Flower Garden'

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Feb. 23, 2024 - 17:19

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"Tale of Seocheon Flower Garden" (National Jeongdong Theater in Korea)

A Jeju myth comes to life through a combination of pansori, or Korean traditional narrative singing, and shadow puppetry in a children's production running at the National Jeongdong Theater in Korea, Cecil through Wednesday.

"Tale of Seocheon Flower Garden" is a reinterpretation of the myth of Hallakgungi, found in the shamanistic songs of Jeju Island known as "Igongbonpuri."

The protagonist, Hallakgungi, embarks on a journey to the Seocheon Flower Garden at the afterlife's end, in search of his father.

At the mystical Seocheon Flower Garden, various flowers possess the ability to heal, punish, and even bring humans back to life.

"Tale of Seocheon Flower Garden" (National Jeongdong Theater in Korea)

The creative team has crafted a stunning flower garden using glass, which, when illuminated, produces a vibrant array of colors for shadow puppetry.

Live music is led by composer-pianist Yonrimog, who is known for combining Korean traditional music and film music.

Pansori singer Kim So-jin and gosu, or percussionist, Lee Hyang-ha have teamed up for the production.

In an effort to make the performance accessible to a broader audience, the team opted for simpler language, particularly considering the younger audience members.