金剛山 Geumgang Acrobatic Show
One last thing remains on my mind from my trip to Geumgangsan – the Pyongyang Acrobatic show I watched while I was there. Photography was not allowed during the performance, only at the end. It was just as well, since there were a few stunts that did not get pulled off as they would have liked to pull them off.
No matter that some stunts did not go right the first time – what most impressed me was that when a difficult stunt was not completed to the satisfaction of the performers, the performers would go back to the start of that section and attempt the stunt again. Once they did a stunt three times. I can’t say that would happen in other places. I’ve watched acrobatic shows in China, and while mistakes were not made, it made me wonder if there were not some wires or other things behind the scenes aiding them. By seeing some errors in the performance, I knew it was real.
I should note that I got one of the cheap seats – and as a result, I was placed in the back row, almost in the corner. This was actually an interesting place to sit, because I could see the man behind the curtain. The man that told some people when they were discouraged to try it again until they did it right. I could also see that the music during the show was not recorded – it was in fact being played by a quartet hidden from the view of most of the audience. They happened to play nearly straight above me.
It is about three times as much price-wise as an acrobatic show in China, but it is nonethless something to be seen. The impressive acrobatics in China are often done by short, strong women with similar build, but the acrobatics in Korea had both men and women of wildly varying ages doing stunts.