Lunar New Year kickoff at Flushing Town Hall


By Queens Courier Staff |

With the Lunar New Year fast approaching, South Korean music and dance troupe Noreum Machi will kick off Flushing Town Hall’s month-long celebration of the Year of the Tiger.

Although the beginning moment of 4707, the Year of the Golden (White Metal) Male Tiger, is on Sunday, February 14 in China, the performance will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 30 at Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, just east of Main Street.

As important a traditional as it is however, in the New World, New Year must yield to Valentine’s Day – so the Lunar New Year Parade will be on Saturday, February 20, well within the two-week traditional celebration period, according to the Flushing Chinese Business Association,

“Flushing Town Hall for the last two years has celebrated the Lunar New Year with a month long festival,” said executive and artistic director Ellen Kodadek. “Noreum Machi is an extraordinary company from South Korea which will provide an exciting and beautiful performance of stunning costumes and wonderful music known as Samul-Nori and [will] perform both traditional and new wave music.”

The group works with several instruments such as the jaggo, a traditional hourglass-shaped, double-headed drum that all Korean music incorporates, the buk, a double-headed barrel drum and the kkwaenggwari, a gong originally used in royal ancestral shrine music.

Founder Kim Juhong studied singing, shaman rhythms and pansori – traditional storytelling/vocal music – at the Korean Traditional University.

Their acrobatic performance draws from ritual celebratory events performed by rice farmers and professional musicians, differing only in their more modern and contemporary adaptation as well as their willingness to improvise and reach out to outside influences – despite being rooted in tradition.

In Korea, “Noreum Machi” is minstrel jargon for only the most extraordinary talents – so much so that no one would dare follow one on stage and the show would be over.

Tickets to see Noreum Machi are $12 for non-member adults, $10 for members and students with I.D., $8 for children and $6 for member children. Those who attend have a chance to meet the dance troupe after the performance.

Other events at Flushing Town Hall include the free annual dance sampler – featuring dancers from China, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia – on Saturday, February 20. The final event, a Chamber Ensemble Concert, will be on Friday, March 12.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 718-463-7700, ext. 222 or visit www.flushingtownhall.org.