Pansori is a popular storysinging art survived from Korea’s premodern past, owing to the singers that orally transmitted it generation after generation. Emerged among the socially outcast performers providing entertainment to village populaces, its popularity soared to enjoy fandoms and patronages among some members of the upper class in the nineteenth century. At the entrance of the twentieth century in the shifting terrains of Korean social and cultural climate, it encountered powerful currents of modern and Western influences brandishing new ways of music, drama, and mediums of popular entertainment. As a way to protect it from total disappearance, the Korean government implemented its policies of preservation by designating pansori as an Intangible Cultural Property No. 5 (1963). A view from the Korean popular and traditional music world of the latter half of the twentieth century, Park shares the historical, social, and temporal frame of the development of pansori.
In her performance, Park also shares her auto-ethnographic discovery of pansori. She will present a segment of her bilingual adaptation of Sugungga (Song of the Water Palace), one of the classical pansori narratives designated as an intangible cultural property of the Republic of Korea. Performance will be accompanied with Korean-English translation subtitles on powerpoint. Q&A to follow!
Bio: Dr. Chan E. Park is Professor Emeritus in the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the Ohio State University. She researches and performs Korean musical and oral narrative tradition. She is author of Voices from the Straw Mat: Toward an Ethnography of Korean Story Singing (University of Hawaii Press 2003), 5-volume Songs of Thorns and Flowers: Bilingual Performance and Discourse on Modern Korean Poetry Series (Foreign Language Publications 2010-2015), and the forthcoming Pansori as Voice Theatre: History, Theory, Practice (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023). As performer, park presents her signature bilingual pansori for audiences outside the Korean language communities around the world. She has also produced solo and collaborative musical and theatrical innovations with pansori as the main thrust. Her premieres include: Centennial Pansori: In 1903, Pak Hungbo Went to Hawai’i (2003); When Tiger Smoked His Pipe (w/ Honolulu Theater for Youth, 2003); Shim Chong: A Korean Folktale (w/ California State University Northridge Theater Department, 2003); Alaskan Pansori: Klanott and the Land Otter People (w/ Stefan Hakenberg, 2005); Pak Hungbo Went to Almaty (2007); Fox Hunt and the Death of a Queen (w/ Kathy Foley, 2012); Look & Listen: Asian Art and Music (w/ the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, February 18, 2021).
Sponsored by: The Liu Institute of Asia and Asian Studies, College of Arts and Letters
Organized by: The Korean Program, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures