Last Friday, July 15, I went to a Cookin’ NANTA performance with several other students in the Korea University ISC program. I didn’t really have any idea what NANTA was, aside from this vague and slightly disturbing description from my program director: “I think it’s kind of like a Blue Man Group performance…. but with knives.”
Surprisingly, it’s a rather accurate description, but does little to describe how AWESOME the performance was. I’ve never actually seen the Blue Man Group perform in person, but I can’t imagine that performance being better than NANTA’s. Cookin’ NANTA was really neat.
It’s difficult to describe what exactly a Cookin’ NANTA performance is. According to their website (found here), NANTA is a “nonverbal performance that integrates Korea’s traditional rhythm, Samulnori, with drama and comedy in the kitchen!” It’s a mixture of awesome music created in various crazy ways, a fun storyline, cooking (kind of), choreographed dancing, and martial arts. There’s also a few parts of the show that involve audience participation, and my friend Maddie got called up to the stage at one point, which was fun to watch.
If you are ever in Seoul, I 100% recommend taking the time to see a NANTA performance. Our group went to the Chungjeongno Theatre location, but there are also theatre locations in Hondae, Myeong Dong, Jeju, and Bangkok. Since our group was sponsored by Korea University, I didn’t have to pay an entry fee, but tickets usually range from about 40,000-70,000 won (around $35-60 USD), depending on how nice of a seat you want. (More info about venues and pricing can be found here.)
If I come back to Seoul, I’m definitely putting this performance on my itinerary again.
Note: We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the theatre, so all included pictures of the performance were found online.