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In Search of Korean Traditional OperaDiscourses of Changguk$
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Andrew Killick

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832902

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832902.001.0001

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Inventing a Tradition?

Inventing a Tradition?

The National Changgeuk Company of Korea

(p.124) Chapter Five Inventing a Tradition?
In Search of Korean Traditional Opera

Andrew Killick

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the National Changgeuk Company of Korea (NCCK) and its repeated efforts since the 1960s to establish ch'angguk as a “Korean traditional opera” for domestic and international consumption. It argues that the NCCK's pursuit of traditionality through faithfulness to either the letter or the spirit of p'ansori has turned out to be insufficient in itself to accomplish its goal of establishing ch'angguk as Korean traditional opera. Since realizing this, ch'anggugin (a general term for performers and others involved in ch'angguk) have appeared uncertain where else to look. Advances have been made in theatrical technique, and traditionality has been claimed through discourses both in and around ch'angguk, but in terms of performance conventions, ch'angguk has yet to achieve a stable form. It may be invested with a commitment to its continuation, but it is by no means protected from change.

Keywords:   ch'angguk, Korean opera, National Changgeuk Company of Korea, performance, traditional performing arts

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