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[Eye Plus] Nocturnal splendor at Seoul palaces

Palaces in Seoul, formerly home to Joseon royalty and now must-see tourist spots, showcase the country’s cultural history. Their architectural style represent what was most aesthetically pleasing at the time of their creation. Hundreds of years have only added depth of time to the stories that are told through aged wood and weighty foundation stones.

Given their significance, old palaces awash with bright lights form an out-of-this-world backdrop for pansori performances.

At Gyeonghoeru in Gyeongbokgung, a pansori musical performance was held from Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, presenting the Tale of Sim Cheong, a heart-tugging story of a young woman whose filial piety restores her blind father’s vision.

Gyeonghoeru is a pavilion hall surrounded by water where royal banquests were hosted.

Taking advantage of Gyeonghoeru’s location amid a man-made pond, the performance incorporated a paper boat and a giant turtle suspended by wire in mid-air for dramatic storytelling.

Vibrant illuminations added flair to the performance.

There are 12 events being held from October through November at Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung and Jongmyo to celebrate the royal culture of Korea. 

Details of the events can be found at www.royalculturefestival.org.

Written by Lim Jeong-yeo
Photos by Park Hyun-koo
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