This essay focuses on the South Korean performance group Taroo's locally-oriented aesthetics in Pansori Hamlet Project (2014) as an alternative model to the notion of "Global Shakespeare" which presupposes intercultural spectatorship as well as intercultural practice. A natural corollary of this "global" discourse is overlooking smallscale productions and verbal genres such as pansori despite their artistic merit and cultural significance for the local audience. Taroo's pansori Shakespeare features four Hamlets who tell the story of the Danish prince with reference to Korean popular culture in local dialects. The pluralization and localization of the Shakespeare's melancholic hero transform Hamlet into a play of contemporary Korean young adults going through a difficult time together while recreating the traditional form of pansori as a popular genre they call "gugak musical." Taroo's pansori adaptation showcases a local Shakespeare that is not motivated by "bardolatry" or universalism underlying many intercultural Shakespeares but relies on indigenous language and music as a powerful vehicle of sympathy and renewal of tradition for the local audience.


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pp. 349-369
Launched on MUSE
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