Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Pan, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
Pan, as attendees of this show should now know, means “festival” in Korean, and that’s certainly the sense which is given by this music and dance spectacular from the KTDI (Korean Tourism Development Institute).
Dressed in beautiful traditional costumes, a dozen dancers enact vibrant formation scenes, shuffling into position with tiny, flickering steps, using spinning umbrellas as props and finally crescendoing with a thundering display of traditional drums. It’s a show which is so precise and tightly-choreographed that it looks effortless, although there’s no mistaking the ability of those involved.
It’s also energetically authentic, or at least certainly in line with the image Korea must seek to project of its own heritage. As the producing body might suggest, this is an expansive and virtuosic display from a range of skilled performers with something of the feel of a presentation for visiting dignitaries about it at the same time – the temptation is to wonder if it might appear to a Korean viewer as an hour of bagpipes and Highland dancing might seem to a Scot.
Yet for a family audience who want to see an hour of skilled dancing which may hold exotic appeal to those who aren’t used to it, PAN is easy to recommend.
Assembly Hall (Venue 35) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 27 August 2015
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