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A Study on the Performance Activities by ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang,’ the Professional Gugeuk Troupe in the 1910s

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2018, (61), pp.67-103
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2018..61.67
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : August 7, 2018
  • Accepted : September 7, 2018

Baek Doosan 1

1성공회대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The repertoires and performances of Changgeuk in the 1910s changed after the appearance of professional Gugeuk troupes such as the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang.’ By focusing on the performance records of the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang’ from 1913 to 1915, this study examined the management of and specialization in Gugeuk troupes under the variety show system, as well as the various aspects and implications of Changgeuk performances, which gathered attention among the activities of Gugeuk troupes. Kim Jaejong was the leader and showman from a non-artistic background who was affiliated with Gisaeng groups. The ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang’ focused on road tours held performances at Danseongsa and Gwangmudae from 1913 to 1915 in January and around the Dano holidays. Records on rent, canceled performances and renting stage props by the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang’ is an important source which shows the rental system and periods of public theaters run by the Joseon people in the 1910s, the issues concerning the performance rights of performers during the renting period and how the preparation for performances were specialized. Overall, the records reflect how the performances and systems have progressed when compared to the previous era. Thus, thanks to the efforts of Kim Jaejong, who served as a professional leader and showman of the troupe, on the management of the troupe and its repertoire, the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang’ succeeded in becoming a leading Gugeuk troupe in the mid-1910s. The ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang,’ which performed different repertoires every night, characterized itself with the reformed Gisaeng songs and dances and the non-pansori Changgeuk performances such as the <Yeongnamnu> in the process of acquiring new performance repertoires. This paper examined <Yeongnamnu> and <Samsaenggiyeon>, which were overseen by the master singer Sim Jungsun, to find whether the two Gugeuk performances were organized as Changgeuk and to check whether they were performed as Changgeuk, based on the records on the usage of stage props by the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang.’ <Yeongnamnu>, a based on the legend of Arang, and <Samsanggiyeon>, which is a dramatization of a classic novel, could be presumed to have been performances that used folk songs as the main melody and used various instruments on stage. Such types of performances would have benefited traveling troupes such as the ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang,’ which experienced difficulties in finding Pansori actors. Non-pansori Changgeuk such as <Yeongnamnu> contributed to expanding the base of original Changgeuk in the 1910s and began to be performed by other Gugeuk troupes in the mid-1910s and even in public exhibitions in 1915. The activities of the ‘Kim Jaejong ilhang’ serve as valuable data on the performance activities and troupe management of gugeuk troupes in the 1910s. The ‘Kim Jaejong Ilhang’ has further value as a troupe which diversified the Changgeuk repertoires and contributed to the process of Changgeuk transforming into popular musical plays.

Citation status

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