Korea Performance Festival in Bangkok 2017

by - Sunday, July 23, 2017

Korea Performance Festival in Bangkok 2017

Thai people have a great opportunity to experience Korea through various kinds of performances organized by Korea Tourism Organization in Thailand. Korea Performance Festival in Bangkok 2017 was held on June 2-3, 2017 at GMM Live House in the department store, Central World.

From South Korea to Thailand, 6 amazing performances, Cookin' Nanta, Bibap Chef, Jump Show, Lotus, Pang show, and Sachoom vary from Korean traditional music and dance, modern performing arts, martial arts to various dance genres including hip-hop, jazz, contemporary dance, and break dancing.  Among these 6 shows, I only had watched JUMP in Korea before and the performance was amazing so I was thrilled when I heard about this festival. Thai people were very interested in this festival as it can be seen that ticket ran out quite fast.

The festival started with the head of by Korea Tourism Organization in Thailand gave a speech about Thailand and Korea. Thailand and Korea have had friendly relations for a long time.  About 1.5 million Koreans visit Thailand each year while 500,000 Thais travel to Korea. The director told the audiences to watch and learn more about Korea performances from today shows. He also tried to speak in Thai which earned him loud applause.

 The festival was divided into two parts. The first part began with the Bibap Chef, a nonverbal performance based on the Korean representative dish, Bibimbap. The storyline is about the fiery food competition of two chefs who think their secret recipe is the best. The show is a combination of b-boying, beatboxing, acapella, and acrobatics. I fell in love with their jokes and singing. The show was funny.

JUMP is a mixture of martial arts including Korea’s Taekwondo and Taekkyeon, and comedy show or in another word, comic martial art performance. The storyline is all about a family which all members are good at martial arts. This show was not only hilarious but stunning with their martial art skills which so astonished! In my opinion, all ages can enjoy this show because it is easy to understand and follow the storyline even children.

Cooking Nanta is well-known in many countries for times including Thailand. This Nanta show has been drawing the largest number of audience in Korea stage history. It was about preparing food with beating rhythms on kitchen appliances and ingredients. They combine culinary skills with Korean traditional music, Samulnori very well. I like that in some parts they suddenly acted in slow-motion. This was so comical. If you have a chance to watch a non-verbal show in Korea, you should not miss this famous one.

There was a break in between the two parts of the festival to let the audiences enjoyed a couple of food, snack, and drink for free such as Tukbokki, Kimbap, tea, popcorn, etc .

The second part started with LOTUS, a Flower Comes Out Once More by Jeongdong Theater which is one of the Korea’s representative traditional arts performance theaters, is a storytelling about Korean traditional folk tale. The story begins with Seo-ryeon, the best dancer of the court who is skilled in singing and dancing, starts her performance in king’s reign of peace. The king is captivated by her beauty that resembles a fragrant flower. The queen is jealousy and throws Seo-ryeon out of the palace. The stage, actors, and music were all wonderful. I love to watch Korean traditional dance.

Pang show is adapted from Korean drama, “King of Baking, Kim Takgu”. It is bread making show played on the cruise. They were full of b-boying, percussion, juggling at least 3 balls and magic! This show was so funny. In Korea, you will be able to make your own bread before get aboard a cruise ship to experience beautiful sight and night view of Han river and enjoy the Pang Show. After coming back from the cruise, you will get the taste to your own bread.

The last show was Sachoom, a nonverbal dance musical which full of various dance including hip-hop, break dance, contemporary dance, popular K-POP dance, and the combination of modern and traditional dance and music. They performed Psy’s Gangnam Style and I got it from my DADDY, Big Bang’s Bang Bang Bang, TWICE’s TT, Black Pink’s Boombayah and more. The audiences were very enjoying with this show because it’s like a mini concert. They even stood and danced along with them. I was amazed by one of the performers who can speak Thai quite well. He talked with the audiences in English and Thai and also tried to teach us some Korean sentences like when he said, “Sorijilleo” which means make some noise, we should scream.

Since they are nonverbal performances and emphasized on acting and body languages, you don’t need to understand any Korean word to watch and enjoy the shows. They are more than just actors performing on the stage. Each show also invites the audiences to participate in their performances. The lucky one will go on the stage, play with them and get a souvenir from the show such as T-shit, cap, or folder.  After the shows, you would have a chance to take a photo with the actors but it was crowded thus I did not take it myself.

You can watch gimmicks of each show in the above playlist. Normally, they do not allow taking or recording any photos or videos, however; this was a special event and they were not full shows so they allow us to take photos and videos.

Apart from Korean Performances, outside the venue, there were a few activities for visitors. The first thing you would see after the ticket booth was the backdrop with “Korea Performance Festival in Bangkok 2017” for taking photos. If you want to learn more about today shows or want to know where to watch them in Korea, you can find information at booths which providing brochures regarding the performances.

Moreover, there was a painting Korean traditional fan section for those who love drawing and coloring.

The most popular activity was try-on Hanbok experience. The best thing was that they prepared beautiful Korean style backdrops and snap & print service so you would get photos of you in Hanbok as souvenirs from this festival. The photos were printed out and also on the website for you to download and share on your social media in an instant. The good thing is that it was free!

There are a lot of Korea booths from Incheon tourism, Korean airline, travel agencies, and tour operators to showcase and give advice about their services and products for people interested in visiting Korea. Korea Tourism Organization had a service booth for those who want to consult or ask about their Korea trip plan as well. There were lucky draws sponsored by Korea Tourism Organization and airline at the end of each part of the festival.

Korea Performance Festival gained a lot of attention from visitors who love Korea. The venue was packed. I had heard that some people came from other provinces just for this festival. There were many Korean people came to watch the shows too. I have learned more about Korean culture from this festival. I had a good time attending this festival. Watching Korea performance will be in my itinerary when I go to Korea next time.

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