Avant garde director Ping Chong's history and culture study of Korea, Pojagi, will close at La MaMa E.T.C. March. The final piece in Chong's series, which included explorations of the histories and cultures of Japan (Deshima, 1993), China (Chinoiserie, 1995) and Vietnam (After Sorrow, 1997), began performances Feb. 24.
Named for a traditional wrapping cloth, Pojagi uses choreography and music from Korea's shamanistic tradition to tell the history of Korea from the 16th Century to today. First encounters with Europeans, several Japanese invasions, the assassination of Queen Min and the partitioning of the country with the advent of the Cold War are among the events dissected and narrated by the characters of the man (C. S. Lee) and the woman (Esther Chae).
The supporting cast is Shin Young Lee and Sunyoung Park. Park also choreographed.
Designing the show are Watoku Ueno (sets), Darren McCroom (lighting), Brian Hallas (sound) and Stefani Mar (costumes).
Tickets are $25-$20. La MaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East Fourth Street. For more information, call (212) 475-7710. *
Upcoming Chong projects are the development and premiere of Secret History, a collaboration with GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, DC, the development of Undesirable Elements with East Harlem teenagers as a part of the Dream Yard arts-in-education program, and the creation of a new puppet/theatre piece, The Spirit Project.
Chong, an Obie and two time New York Dance and Performance Award winner, has created pieces for New York's La MaMa since the debut of his Obie winner, Humboldt's Current, in 1977. Among his more than 25 stage works are Nuit Blanche, Nosferatu, Brightness and Interfacing Joan.
-- By Christine Ehren