Cookin’ was originally developed in Seoul, Korea by PMC Production Co. Ltd., in 1997. It received the Sports Chosun’s “Special Award” at the 4th Korea Musical Awards in 1998. Over one million people have attended performance of Cookin’ in Korea, making it the longest running show in the history of Korean performing arts. In the last five years Cookin’ has delighted audiences in over 20 countries throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF COOKIN’
Nong-ak is a traditional Korean music form, developed thousands of years ago in the countryside by farmers to ease the hardship if labor-intensive farming and to help encourage unity among the people. The specialized rhythms of Nong-ak vary according to geographic location. In the 1970s, several experts of Nong-ak created an experimental music form which utilizes specific Korean traditional instruments: an hour-glass shaped drum, a barrel drum, a small gong and a large gong. They called their music Samulnori (which literally means “playing with four instruments”). From this experimental work, Samulnori has become the most popular and recognizable traditional Korean art form. The composition of Samulnori employs five basic rhythms at varying speeds, alternating the number of traditional instruments used throughout. In Korea, Samulnori has essentially replaced Nong-ak as the work for describing traditional music. The variety of rhythms in Samulnori reflects and reconstructs the routine beat of Korean life.
Cookin’ applies the traditional rhythms of Samulnori to a fast-paced kitchen percussion show combining comedy, rhythm and non-verbal performance that culminates into a delightful and dynamic evening. The typical instruments of Samulnori have all been replaced with utensils commonly found in the kitchen including knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, chopsticks and woks.