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New Version of "Dae Jang Geum" Takes Stage at Gyeonghui Palace

2008/09/16 Source

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A second version of the musical "Dae Jang Geum" a story centered around a chef who becomes the first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty is once again taking the stage at Gyeonghui Palace.

"Your Majesty! I ask you to remember the heart of our forefathers, who founded Joseon 300 years ago. Please be a true king of the people".

After last year's initial release received a less than positive reception for missing key points and copying the sequence of the original TV series the direction for this new rendition has changed 180 degrees.
The lines are laconic and the songs are more in tune with the storyline.

[Interview : Lee Gina, Director of "Dae Jang Geum"] "Because we focused on reinventing a TV drama into a play, we had to cut out as much detail as possible. The script meetings definitely weren't easy".

Another major change is the fact that it is now men who are in the spotlight.
A showdown between the two major political parties in 16th century Joseon the old Hoongu and the rising Salim is used to introduce radical politician Jo Gwangjo.

[Interview : Jo Jeongsuk, Plays role of "Jo Gwangjo"] "It was challenging to take on a character that was not in the original TV series. So I tried my best to express his integrity and his ambition throughout the story".

And on the back of Jo Gwangjo's utilitarianism. heroine Janggeum becomes stronger than ever portrayed as a strong woman who rose to the official rank of fifth class.

[Interview : Lisa, Plays role of "Janggeum"] "Rather than using dramatic elements, we allowed music and songs to lead the plot. I put a lot of emotion into the singing".

And on top of the new and improved version the reformed hanbok costumes and the modern touch in makeup are simply eye-catching.
Amid numerous adaptations of Broadway musicals across Asia critics say Korea is leading the way for homegrown musicals.
And expectations are high that this will lead to another Hallyu or Korean Wave in the near future.

Kim Jiyoung, Arirang News.

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