This Halloween, Flushing Town Hall offers a trick and a treat with Bongsan Talchum on October 31. Attendees will learn to make traditional Korean masks and receive an introductory dance lesson before enjoying a dynamic performance by the Bongsan Mask Dance-Drama Preservation Society.
Traveling overseas from Korea, these 22 dancers and live musicians will entrance the audience through movement, song, and humorous dramatization for a truly, one-of-a-kind, masked Halloween spectacle.
“Our mission at Flushing Town Hall is to present global arts to a global community,” says Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “What better way to celebrate Halloween in our city’s most diverse, immigrant-rich borough than with this Korean cultural treasure? And to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Yes, there will be candy — Korean candy!”
A performance in this Korean genre of such scale and caliber has never before been presented in New York and offers an eye-opening event for adults and children alike, with opportunities for hands-on engagement.
Bongsan Talchum is designated the 17th of Korea’s Important Intangible Cultural Properties. It refers to a masked performance with dancing, miming, speaking, and music. Bongsan Talchum includes significant dramatic and often humorous content, with masked performers portraying people, animals, and supernatural beings. These folk dramas traditionally reflect the frustrations felt by the lower classes towards the Confucian literati Yangban, due to the latter’s treatment of the commoners, and depict the life of the common man as he processes societal problems.
The Bongsan masks use a striking arrangement of black, white, blue, red, and yellow. Performers conceal their social status behind the masks and express their characters through bold and rhythmic movements, accompanied by live music played on wind, string, and percussive instruments.
The mask-making workshop will accept participants on a first come, first served basis until full and begins at 6:00 PM, the open-to-all dance lesson begins at 7:00 PM, and the performance at 8:00 PM at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, Queens. Tickets —$16 / $10 Members, Students, and Children / FREE for Teens—are available at www.flushingtownhall.org.
Once again, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers—for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old teens (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love for arts and culture.