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March 4, 2019

“Seoul Searching” With KSO


The Seoul cityscape stretched open before the audience at the Korean Student Organizations 2019 Cultural Show, "Seoul Searching".

Courtesy of Minyoung Choi

What would spending a day in Seoul, South Korea be like? In this year’s Korean Student Organization cultural show, “Seoul Searching,” student tourists third-year Philip Chun and second-year Alex Joh-Jung embarked on a daylong adventure with their tour guide, second-year Yoon Jeong, to answer this question. The hour-and-a-half production took us on a whirlwind around Seoul. Even as part of the audience, I not only watched the duo’s journey, but also felt as though I was in along for the ride as they experienced the culture and history of Seoul with their helpful tour guide, encountering various instrumental, dance, and vocal performances along the way.  

The show began with a short but well-received stand-up comedy sketch followed by a video that involved every tech crew’s worst fear: technical difficulties. In spite of the lack of audio from the anticipated video, Chun and Joh-Jung took the stage and improvised a humorous and light-hearted skit, explaining their “trip” to Korea and their plan for the rest of the night: to explore as much of Seoul as possible in 24 hours.  

Throughout “Seoul Searching,” Chun and Joh-Jung, along with Jeong, explored different parts of Seoul, venturing wherever the video took them. The emcee for the night, second-year Jeremy Yuan, narrated smooth transitions for the audience to coherently follow the actors through each step of their journey. Yuan also made sure to give energetic openings for the performers of each act, setting the stage first for Koong, a traditional Korean drumming RSO on campus. The members of Koong entered with an energetic, fast-paced, and rhythmic drumming chorus that spanned from the auditorium’s arena all the way to the stage—a nicely done performance that gave a pleasant start to the show.  

The first half of the show was followed by a stunning vocal performance from fourth-year Juliet Lee and pianist second-year Moses Oh, as well as two upbeat dance performances from Groove Theory and the Excolatur crew. Chun and Joh-Jung walked onstage, just as stunned as the audience and ready to embark on another adventure.  

After a 10-minute intermission, Chun and Joh-Jung’s journey in Seoul continued. The two eventually ventured into a more modern soundscape, launching the audience into the Evolution of K-Pop. From here, we saw a number of student organizations dance to the beat of irresistible Korean pop tunes.  

The final portion of the show closed with three singing performances—first-years Jimin Han and Mason Wang singing “Instagram,” second-year Catherine An and first-year Chae Lee performing “Like OOH-AHH,” and third-year Elissa Kwon ending the night with “I’m in Love.” 

The show finished with Chun, Joh-Jung, and Jeong rejoicing at their trip, the video behind them projecting a beautiful overview of Seoul at night, with the camera panning across a line of illuminated high-rise buildings and later stretching across a starry night, at which point the video revealed the title of the show: “Seoul Searching.”  

So what would spending one day in Seoul be like? If you plan accordingly, you might be able to experience the same selfie-indulging, dance-fueled, musical adventure that Chun and Joh-Jung underwent. 

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