Monday, October 5, 2009


There's a reason that it's ranked as one of the Top 10 things to see in Seoul. This past Saturday I was lucky to see why.

Nanta is an action-packed, laughter-inducing, awe-inspiring show that incorporates normal household kitchen items to create the rhythms of samul nori (literally "four objects play"). In samul noir, four instruments are played for the rhythms:

Kkwaenggwari (a small gong)
Jing (a larger gong)
Jangju (an hourglass-shaped drum)
Buk (a barrel drum similar to a bass drum)

I've seen samul nori played on the traditional instruments before, but Nanta takes this Korean art form to new level by using pots and pans, brooms and garbage pails, and knives and cutting boards.

The show is made even more interesting by the comedic storyline. A top-notch kitchen is thrown into disarray when the restaurant owner's son is made to help the chefs prepare a wedding menu by 6 p.m. Will they finish in time? You have to watch to see how it ends, but I promise you it's quite an entertaining sight. I laughed just about the whole show at the jokes and humor--of course, when I wasn't breathless from the drum and rhythm performances.

Nanta also incorporates audience participation at key points, which heightens the experience. It's not just a show where you sit and watch; here, you can actually enjoy being a part of what's going on onstage.

The prices are reasonable, too. It's 60,000 won for a VIP seat, which will put you in the dead center of a row. A standard seat is 50,000 won. We opted for the VIP seats, and they were in a great spot. The stage and seating arrangement are well-designed for maximum viewing potential. Nobody was blocked off from seeing the action onstage, and the acoustics are great in the theater.

If you're looking for something new and exciting to do on your next visit to Seoul, then I highly recommend seeing Nanta!

More information can be found at their webpage here.

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