Ch'angguk opera was first developed in the early twentieth century, when it was advertised as shinyon'guk, or "new drama," emphasizing the novelty of its indoor theater setting and acting conventions. Today, Ch'angguk is often described in English as "traditional Korean opera," mainly because it incorporates elements of the older musical storytelling genre p'ansori. While Ch'angguk has come to base a large part of its appeal on this association with tradition, it has not inspired the commitment to preservation and protection from change that typically distinguishes "traditional" art forms. By surveying the history of ch'angguk's relationship to "tradition," I seek to define a separate category of art forms, the "traditionesque," which I believe will prove to be an important one, not only in Korea but worldwide.


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pp. 51-71
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