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Title 최정화 랑데부 "롱보드로 한국을 누빈 프랑스 소년들 대체 뭘 보고 식겁했을까? Crossing Korea on Longboards! Who&what did they meet on the road?"
Posted by webmaster Hit 3386 Date 2022.06.28
Dear Korea CQ Members,

On June 14, we had a special lecture about ‘Culture is Competitiveness’ by Song Seung-whan, Director of PMC Production in the Moroccan Ambassador’s Residence in Seoul.

H.E Chafik Rachadi, Leila Rachadi, H.E. Colin Crooks, Young-kee Crooks, H.E. Philippe Lefort, H.E. Ekaterini Loupas, H.E. Dagmar Schmidt, Song Seung-whan, Kim Wonsoo, James Park, Richard Choi, Seungju Baek, Ian Jeong, Soyoon Park, Ilkwon Shim, Sunhwa Dong, Crystal Park, Choi Jungwha, and Didier Beltoise attended this forum. 
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The Moroccan Ambassador gave a warm welcome and thanked everyone who came.
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We enjoyed a delicious dinner with Moroccan traditional food prepared with great care by the the Ambassador.
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After the meal, CICI President Choi Jungwha shared news on members, followed by a special lecture by Song Seung-whan ‘Culture is Competitiveness’.
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Song Seung-whan is leading the Korean arts and performance indusrty as the founder of the performance ‘Nanta’ and Executive Creative Director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Through the lecture, we learned about the behind-the-scenes story of Nanta's global success and the direction Korean culture should move forward.

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A lively Q&A session followed the lecture.

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We would like to thank Song Seung-whan who gave an informative lecture for members and H.E. Chafuk Rachadi and Leila Rachadi for inviting members to the residence for this wonderful gathering.
We would also like to express thanks to all members who attended despite their busy schedules, as well as Crystal Park for her interpretation help.

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For more pictures, please click the link below.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/NmHQupSm1gZfxgz1A


Culture is Competitiveness by Song Seung-whan, CEO of PMC Production

I made the performance ‘Nanta’ in October 1997, so this year marks the 25th anniversary. At that time, Koreans did not understand why they had to enjoy cultural life or spend money to consume culture, even though they could afford it. So, every time I produced a performance, I was often not making profit. 


Being an actor is a very attractive job, but it is a passive job in a way because I cannot demonstrate my abilities until I am cast. So I decided to create and stage my own show rather than waiting to be cast as an actor. I thought about how to make money with my own performances, and decided to enter the overseas market where there are many people watching by paying money and buying tickets.


However, I encounterd a language barrier. A play is an act of conveying emotion to the audience through dialogue, but who would understand if the performance was conducted in Korean? That's why I made a play without language, and from then on, nonverbal performances started to become popular all over the world. I also had financial difficulties. When I previously produced the musical “Whale Hunt,” it cost 500 million won, the highest production cost in Korea, but the Broadway production cost far exceeded 10 billion won at the same time Of course, Korean plays were not competitive. So, I tried to overcome the limitations of capital with ‘Samulnori’, which has the most Korean and Oriental uniqueness. A play is to put a part of our lives on a stage, and in everyday life, like Samulnori, the kitchen is the place to beat something. I set the background for a play called ‘Nanta’ in the kitchen, inspired by my mother knocking on a chopping board with a knife in the kitchen when I was young. And I wrote a scenario with the chefs making food in the kitchen and used kitchen utensils as samulnori tools.


Of course, it wasn't easy to enter the overseas market, but perhaps thanks to Samulnol's unique and exciting rhythm, we received a standing ovation for five minutes after our first performance in Edinburgh, England. In 2000, the first permanent performance hall in Korea, ‘Nanta Theater’ was opened. I had no choice but to close the door for 2 and a half years because of COVID-19, but I plan to resume the performance from July. Thanks to this success, Nanta is now performing in 350 cities in 60 countries.


Now I’d like to talk about the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. At the opening and closing ceremonies of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I tried to sublimate the values of passion and peace into art based on ‘harmony’, a value of traditional Korean culture, and ‘convergence’, a characteristic of contemporary Korean culture and art. 'Passion' is the driving force behind the Miracle on the Han River, and we have a greater desire for 'Peace' than any other country as the only divided nation in the world.


I expressed the value of harmony with a performance using Taegeuk, which contains the harmony of yin and yang as well as the harmony of all things. I also expressed the value of passion with a Janggu dance characterized by a fast and cheerful rhythm. During the 45-day on-site rehearsal, there were many difficulties such as bad weather, but thanks to 6,000 volunteers, the performance was completed with success. I think Koreans know how to work together to do something greater than usual when a crisis hits.


The Olympics are broadcast live on TV, so viewers around the world are watching. I still remember the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics that I watched in elementary school. So, as a director, I thought a lot about how to create a ‘wow point’. A wow point is a highlight scene that makes viewers exclaim. For example, 30 years after the hosting of the 1988 Olympics, we can only remember ‘Hoop Boy’. This is the wow point. The scene that attracted the most attention at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was the drone show. 1218 drones changed their appearance to the Olympic rings, and this splendid show was highly praised by the New York Times. There were also many good reviews about lighting the torch. A steep uphill road embodying a slope turned into stairs, and then figure skater Yuna Kim appeared in the dark and gave a short performance. This is thanks to a small ice stage set up under the torch.


When I saw the Red Devils cheering for Korea on the street during the 2002 World Cup, I thought it awakened the excitement and passion for entertainment of Koreans. BTS topped the Billboard charts for 7 weeks, actress Yoon Yeo-jeong won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Squid Game topped Netflix - all these feats happened in just four years after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. And recently, Park Chan-wook won the Best Director Award and Song Kang-ho won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Koreans have a lot of excitement and passion, but I think they have been suppressed so far. I absolutely disagree with the opinion that Hallyu culture will not last long. K-content will continue to develop, and K-pop and K-drama will lead the world's popular culture. I hope you will be interested in culture in the future, and please be sure to pay tickets for the performance!

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