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Korean Pansori as Voice Theatre: History, Theory, Practice

Publisher: , 2023
Link to online store *

This book introduces readers to the historical, performative, and cultural context of pansori, a traditional Korean oral story-singing art.

Written by a scholar-practitioner of the form, this study is structured in three parts and begins by introducing readers to the technical, aesthetic, and theoretical components of pansori, as well as the synthesis of vocal and percussive elements that stage the narrative. It moves on to reflect on the historical contexts of pansori, alongside Korea’s transformation from Joseon monarchy to modern statehood. It argues that with colonial annexation came modernist influences that Korean dramatists and audiences used to create new genres of performance, using the common thread of pansori.

The book’s third part explores the interplay of preservation and innovation, beginning in the post-war period and continuing with developments in the 20th and 21st centuries that coincide with Korea’s imprint on cultural globalization. Along with Korea’s growth as a world economic center, a growing enthusiasm for Korean culture around the world has increased the transmission and visibility of pansori. This study argues that tradition and innovation are not as divergent as they are sometimes imagined to be and that tradition is the force that enables innovation. Drawing on Chan E. Park’s ethnographic work and performance practice, this book interweaves expert knowledge of both the textual and performative aspects of pansori, rendering legible this dramatic tradition.

Source: publisher’s website

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Series Preface

Introduction: Orality of Storysinging

Section I: Technique and Practice of Pansori

Chapter One: Voice, Drum, Listening Ear
Chapter Two: Jangdan, the Drummed Heartbeat of Storytelling

Section II: Historical Development

Chapter Three: 18th-19th Century
Chapter Four: Negotiating Dramatic Modernization

Section III: Beyond the 20th Century

Chapter Five: Preservation and Reinvention, Mutually
Chapter Six: ‘Singing Who You Are’: Reflections on Interpretive Bilingual Pansori-making


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