Experience the Ancient Folk Art of Korea in an Electrifying Spectacle of Percussion and Dance with the Ensemble SamulNori: November 11th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
SamulNori is an ensemble with a mission. They are steadfastly dedicated to the preservation and promotion of ancient Korean folk music and dance, most specifically with respect to the 5,000 year old genre of nongak. As Korea’s #1 folk ensemble, the group has already enjoyed great success in reaching their goal, managing to capture the favor of countless audiences both in their native homeland and in numerous countries abroad. Their performance consists of purely percussive music played on gongs and drums and shamanistic ceremonial dances in which the participants create unique and engaging displays of swirling visual patterns with long ribbons and feather plumes worn upon their heads. Under the most capable leadership of changgo master Kim Duk-Soo, SamulNori adds a whole new dimension of musical expression and intrigue to nongak an other centuries old traditional Korean folk genres, through the incorporation of new and original rhythmic patterns, sharp musical contrasts, and dramatic crescendos that rise at times from periods of complete silence only to culminate in passages of feverish musical activity. The complex and challenging choreography displayed within the dances only continues to add to the excitement of the overall performance as the artists showcase their highly athletic leaps and spins, while playing their instruments simultaneously. The rave reviews attest not only to the quality of the showmanship but also to the production’s totally unique character as well.
Nongak is considered to be the fundamental basis of all of Korean culture as a whole. Although the genre is generally performed by percussionists who play and dance simultaneously, the members of SamulNori opt to present only the music so that it receives a maximum of artistic focus. The music itself is often referred to as farmer’s band and was originally performed as part of the harvest celebration throughout rural communities. Twice a year, in May when seeding their crops and again in October when reaping them, the villagers would celebrate 24/7 with group singing and dancing which involved hand clapping and foot stomping of specially prescribed rhythmic patterns. SalmulNori’s repertoire is characteristic not only of nongak, but also of shamanistic celebratory and religious prayer music, as well as additional ancient Korean folk styles. The group’s name actually translates to ” the playing of the four things”, in this case, referring to the quartet of musicians which serves as the core group of performers for most of the show. The “four things” more specifically include the K’kwaenggwari, ching, changgo, and buk.
SamulNori has developed an international reputation in a wide variety aspects. They have toured extensively world-wide appearing at major concert venues, joined artistic forces with some of world’s top musicians, recorded both cds and DVDs, and have also authored their own publication, while being featured in others. To attend one of their performances is not only an opportunity to experience Korean folk art at its finest, but also to walk way with a most valuable education in Korean folk culture in general.
When: November 11th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Also free lecture/demonstration: November 12th (1:00 – 2:30 p.m.)
To be held @ Harvard University’s Holden Chapel in Harvard Yard
Where: Sanders Theatre (Harvard Square)
Tickets: $28.00 – $40.00 (Purchase info)
More Info: 617-876-4275