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Talchum Mask Dance

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Matt Kim

on 4 March 2016

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Transcript of Talchum Mask Dance

Talchum music usually differs by region as do movements and masks
Generally two types of Talchum music
music (pungmul)
A type of
(samhyeon yukgak)
Including two piri (oboe), haegeum (fiddle), daegeum (flute), janggu (hourglass drum), and buk (barrel drum)
Gyeongsang Province
Farmers play instruments
Hwanghae and Gyeonggi Provinces
Professional musicians
Talchum Mask Dance requires colorful hanbok
A traditional clothing that began as a custom in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897)
Even today Korean people wear this clothing for speacial occasions
The flowing clothes are meant to dramatize the actors' movements
The long sleeves are a satirical detail since the Talchums are meant to be informal
Active participation from the audience
Talchum Mask Dance Reflection
Talchum More Information
Venue: Most outside and during the Koryo and Joseon dynasties it was performed on a stage called a
or on an sloped incline so that audience members could see well

Four Components of a talchum
1. The mockery of the stupidity of the aristocracy.
2. The love triangle between a husband, a wife, and a concubine.
3. The corrupt monk.
4. The common, general story of good vs. evil.
Performers rhythmically jump, leap, and squat to the sounds of a small percussion group

Popular mask–dance dramas are: old monk’s dance, leper dance, young Buddhist monks’ dance, and the Lion Dance.
The old monk’s dance requires slow and gentle movements
The leper dance expresses grievances and miseries of the leper by tottering and reeling steps
Talchum Mask Dance requires many face masks
These masks help to develop the character
Masks also lets the audience know who the character is
The masks offered freedom for performers to anonymously express their criticisms of powerful local people
Such as members of the aristocracy or the Buddhist monastic hierarchy
Talchum Mask Dance
Talchum Mask Dance is a Korean dance performed while wearing a mask, miming, speaking and even singing

This Korean mask dance dramas also include significant dramatic content with masked characters portraying people, animals, and sometimes supernatural beings
Talchum Background
These folk dramas reflect the frustrations felt by the lower classes to show the life of the common man and process social problems
For example: monks who ignore their precepts, men who cast off their old wives
Talchum Mask Dance
Matthew Kim
IB SL Theatre
Period 6

Mask dance dramas share fundamental characteristics
Their basic themes are ritual dances, satires, parody of human weaknesses, social evils, and the privileged class
The enthusiastic participation of the audience is the most remarkable feature. The actors and audience join together in a dance as it is brought to a finale
Each mask represents a different character
Bune represents a flirty young woman
In many plays, she appears either as the concubine of Yangban, the aristocrat, or of Sonbi, the scholar.

With her tiny, fixed mouth, smiling eyes, and apple-cheeks, Bune represents beauty and good humor
Her character is a bit shady and unrefined, however. At times, she tempts the monks and other men into sin
This mask represents Yangban, the aristocrat. The character looks rather jolly, but he sometimes has people flogged to death if they insult him. A skilled actor could make the mask look cheerful by holding his head high, or menacing by dropping his chin.

The common people took great joy in mocking the aristocracy through talchum

Mask (Face)
My Korean heritage
More appreciation for this theatre
Works Cited




Choegwari represents the old apostate Buddhist monk

During the Koryeo period, many Buddhist clergy held considerable political power

Although corruption was apparent the high monks indulged only in feasting, bribe-collecting, and in the pleasures of wine, women, and music

Thus, the corrupt and lusty monk became an object of mockery for the common people in talchum

Masks Continued
The appearance of the masks is generally quite exaggerated, with large features and vibrant colors in order to be clearly visible from a distance

Many characters have ugly or misshapen faces; the more criticized in the drama the worse their visage

The masks from all other dramas were customarily burned at the end of the show to dispel any associated spirits.
White masks: beautiful, pure, or sit around inside (like yangban),
Dark masks: belong to the old and those who have had a difficult life
Red masks: are associated with drunkenness
The young Buddhist monks’ dance does not require a mask. This dance is a mixture of charming and quiet movements

The lion dance involves one lion made up of two persons (one at the front and one at the rear). The lion dances around a large circle. Common actions of the lion include: sitting, walking, or jumping in the centre of the stage while turning its head left to right; swishing its tail; and scratching its body.
Movements Continued
Buddhist Monks Dance
Talchum- Ogwangdae Variant: old monk dances his way into the heart of a woman
Technique: charming, quiet movements
Full transcript