‘OGU’ on Saturady at the Jeju Arts Centre featured one of Korea’s most famous actresses, Kang Bu-ja.
An extract from an article: The play has been seen by some 2.6 million people since its premiere. Regarded as a humorous and contemporary look at death through the Korean shamanistic ritual, the play was praised by many foreign reviewers as an exhilarating, charming and enjoyable work.
“Ogu” is a Korean traditional performing art, which combines drama and various traditional rituals through dance and song similar to mask dances and “madanggeuk,” forms of Korean traditional outdoor performance.’ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/03/145_20436.html
Saturday’s show at the Jeju Arts Centre has sent me on a little research trail. Students were shocked and surprised by some of the costuming decisions. See pic above. When I asked if the phallus was an aspect of Korean folk or theatre tradition – I was told no. Wait a minute I thought – hasn’t the phallus appeared in some shape or form in quite a few theatre traditions, indigenous art forms etc?
This question lead me to a dissertation: ‘Directing Koreanness: Directors and Playwrights under the National Flag, 1970-2000’. Turns out the phallus pops up in Korean Puppetry tradition and this writer believes this tradition might have been influenced by Greek theatre. Really? I’d need to be convinced.
Anyone interested in Korean Theatre could start with the publication below…