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The Queen’s Banquet – WanderLang

The Queen’s Banquet

Hello world! Yeah, yeah, I’ve been not posting for a while again. Cody’s parents were just here in Korea for a visit during the Chuseok holiday, so we were a little busy. And today, I want to share with you one of my favorite moments from their visit: The Queen’s Banquet.

The Queen’s Banquet is a Korean cultural performance that incorporates Korean court dances and local fold dances, as well as songs and other performances. And it is seriously one of the most beautiful stage shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. It has five acts that tell the evolving story of the king and queen of Korea, from the queen’s coronation to the feast held in her honor in the mountain villages that now make up Busan.

Throughout the performance, there are TV screens off to the side to let the audience know what is happening, and the cultural significance behind all of the dances. They show the information in four different languages: Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. That way, audience members from many different cultures can enjoy the show, which I think is just amazing and very inclusive.

The show is less thanĀ 90 minutes long, which seems to be the perfect length to give the audience a fantastic show and a great primer on Korean culture through music and dance. I do recommend that you dress up a little bit if you decide to attend, since the performance is housed in one of the nicer hotels on Haeundae Beach. Also, make sure you phone or camera is fully charged, because they allow you to take pictures during the performance (just no flash, please). The current season runs from through December 25, 2016 and you can check out their website for showtimes. It’s their second season, so hopefully there will be another next year.

I’m going to keep this post super short, so that I can bombard you with pictures of how amazingly beautiful this show is. Seriously, if you are living in or coming to Korea, it is work every penny (or Korean won as it were) to see this show.

Opening Screen
The screen projection that they displayed before the show started.
Pre-performance Game
Before the show started, the performers invited the audience up onto the stage to play traditional Korean games.
Court Dance 1
The first of the Royal Court Dances that we saw. It had dancers representing the different cardinal directions and several other important cultural elements.
Crane Dance
The Court Crane Dance, which included 2 giant crane costumes and introduced the characters of the King and Queen.
Fan Dance 1
The incredibly beautiful and fascinating Fan Dance.

Fan Dance 2

Fan Dance 3

Coronation Dressing 1
This was so interesting to watch. They put on a “dance” of dressing the Queen for her coronation.
Coronation Dance 2
The maids helped put on 16 layers of elaborate ceremonial dress robes, called Hanbeok.
Coronation Dressing 3
Seriously! There are 16 layers to make up that outfit! I just wish the camera had captured how beautiful and shiny the silk was.
King and Queen
The King and Queen in full coronation dress.
Queen's Coronation Ceremony
A dance representing the coronation of the Queen.
Peony Dance 1
The Peony Dance.

Peony Dance 2

Folk Banquet 1
In the story of the show, the Queen ordered that the leftover food from the royal banquet would be shared with the common people. Here is a dance representing a village in the area of modern-day Busan getting ready for the feast.
Folk Banquet 2
The King and Queen come to join the fest. (You can see them about to sit down in the front row.)
Women's Drum Dance
A folk dance that is meant to be performed by a group of women and a big drum.
Twirling Hat Ribbon Dance
These guys are playing instruments and dancing around with these really cool hats. They had long ribbons attached to spinning rod things, and danced and twirled while they played.

Final bow 1

Final bow 2

Final Bow 3
The final bow of the entire cast.

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