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학술저널

P’ansori as an Alternative to Existing Performer-Audience Relationships in Modern World Theatre

The purpose of this study is to examine major Western theatrical theorists in the 20th century that sought effective communication methods between performers and audiences, and to seek an alternative model in p ’ ansori, a traditional Korean storytelling performance designated as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003. It particularly investigates ch’uimsae, a special convention allowing “reactions” from the kosu, the drummer providing musical accompaniment for the p ’ ansori singer, and the audience. Ch ’ uimsae involves exclamations of encouragement that can even alter the mood of the entire performance. “One spectators/audience, two kosu, and three myŏngch’ang [one excellent audience, two excellent drummer, and three virtuoso singers].” This saying tells us that, without a good audience and kosu/drummer, skilled at ch’uimsae, a virtuoso singer’ s p’ansori cannot be completed. Spectators also play a role as the kosu ’ s avatars, since they independently perform ch ’ uimsae according to their own hearing of the performance. This study focuses on spectators’ ch’uimsae, which makes p’ansori more alive, improvisational, and interrelational. Representative theater theorists in the 20th century West tried for an equal and open relationship between performers and audience, but they did not successfully conventionalize the methods of interaction between the two parties. This paper re-examines the value of ch’uimsae in establishing such a relationship. It offers four principles of ch’uimsae: emptying-filling (fusion/exchanging sounds between the performer and the audience), viewpoint-fusing (spectators ’ intervention when the performer switches from narrator to character, and vice-versa), deliminalization (blurring/fusion the distinction between the narrator, characters and spectators), and mirroring(showing) and relating (spectators’ supporting the performer between narration and onstage action). These principles are a conventionalized system in p’ansori performance. Thus, it has value in the study of performer-audience relationships in theatre.

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