Stories

New Victory Arts Break: Asia – Discover

Fasten your seat belts, friends! For the next couple of weeks we are headed to Asia. This season, we’re visiting artists from all around the world to get to know their craft and their home. As we explore Asia, you might recall a few companies from their time at New Victory. Let’s discover what these artists have been dreaming up this year, then get to know the incredible continent of Asia. Let’s go!

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New Victory Arts Break Asia: Discover

Meet the Artists

Let’s explore the performing arts in Asia! Asia is made up of 48 countries, and each is filled with all different cultures, food, traditions and art forms. From circus and puppetry to magic and clowning, artists across Asia have been practicing myriad art forms for thousands of years. Here are just a few of the awesome present-day artists flexing their creativity in Asia.

HoyHon Circus, Crescent Moon Theater, Think Project

Take a peek at the video below to see our friends at GRUEJARM Productions in Busan, South Korea. You might recognize these magical tricksters from their performance of SNAP at New Victory in April 2019. Artistic director Casa Kim and International Affairs Manager Wonil Kim, along with company members and their families, show off their creativity and culinary skills. Get to know more about South Korean culture as the GRUEJARM crew takes us through their rehearsals, snack times, school days and group hangs.

Let’s reflect on some of the things we just saw in the video from GRUEJARM in our New Victory Notebook.

  • What were some things you noticed about the company members’ lives that are similar to yours?
  • Did watching this video remind you of someone you know? Who? Why?
  • What stuck out to you the most in this video?
  • List some things you already know about the continent of Asia. What do you know about South Korea?
  • What are some other things you would like to learn about South Korea?
  • What are some questions you have about Asia?

Explore Asia

There are so many cultures, tastes and traditions in Asia. Asia is home to 4 billion people, making it not only the largest continent in size, but also in population. Here are some other impressive numbers Asia boasts:

  • Asia covers almost 30% of land on Earth, spanning from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the western shores of the Pacific Ocean.
  • More than 60% of people on Earth call Asia home.
  • Asia is host to the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, standing at over 29,000 feet high. That’s as tall as 20 stacked Empire State Buildings!
  • Russia, the largest country in the world, spans both Europe and Asia, with most of its population living in Europe and most of its land mass in Asia.

For more on these numbers and for additional facts, visit Kids World Travel Guide.

Did you know that Asia is made up of six sub-regions?

Map of Asia

Asia Activity

Here are a few helpful and fun resources that we found to help us learn a little more about Asia.

Now let’s zoom in a bit to GRUEJARM’s home of Busan, South Korea. Busan sits on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula and is the second largest city in South Korea after Seoul, the capital. It’s a place where modern and traditional cultures meet—you can see both Buddhist temples and skyscrapers in one glance. Similar to New York City, Busan is full of high-rises and a robust transit system that helps get people from one place to another.

Here is a quick video guide from Lonely Planet, and keep an eye out for examples of the traditional living alongside the modern. Then take a look at more examples below of how older styles mix with contemporary aesthetics throughout South Korea.

Seoul South Korea
Namsan Seoul Tower rises behind a traditional pavilion.
BTS Seoul Beats
BTS fuse traditional with innovative in their music video “Idol”

Can you think of places around you that show new and old worlds coming together? Search online and gather some photos, or if you can step outside, snap a few photos of examples that you notice. Does anything look like it’s been there for some time alongside something brand new? Here are some examples we spotted in Manhattan:

Manhattan High-Rises
New high-rises pop up just a few blocks south of historic SoHo.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral NYC
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is nestled among Fifth Avenue skyscrapers.

Take a minute to look at your own cultural background.

In your New Victory Notebook, answer the following questions:

  • Where is your family from?
  • Does your culture have a signature meal or food item? What is it? How has your family added their own twist?
  • Does your culture have a traditional dance? How has this dance changed through time or how does your family do it differently?

GRUEJARM Lessons

GRUEJARM is a company all about big spectacles and magic: in fact, their company name is an acronym that stands for Glorious, Rare, Unique, Exciting experiences through Joyful Arts and Rapt Mystery. They’ve shared their everyday lives with us, and now they’re ready to share a few magic tricks. Let’s check them out!

Before we begin, we need to talk about the Magician’s Oath. This is some serious stuff. To be an official magician, you must recite the Magician’s Oath:

“I, (your name here) a magician, hereby stand by the Magician’s Oath. I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician. I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic.”

Magician's Oath

Great! Now that we got that out of the way, onto the videos!

Want to try out these tricks? Here are the materials you need to successfully perform these tricks:

Candy Trick: A package of small candies, like Skittles or M&Ms; a box of tissues
Frog Trick: Scissors, frog template (or, your New Victory Notebook)

Frog 1

Arts Break Frog 2 of 2

You could also do the frog trick by drawing your own frog template in your New Victory Notebook and tracing it. Simply:

Draw a frog without an expression on the second blank page in your notebook.

frog sketch

frog

Then, trace that frog on the first blank page, but add an expression. You can even change the eyes to make the expression come to life!

frog outline

frog final

Cut them out of your notebook and use them as the templates for your trick!

Final Frogs

Have fun practicing! Want to do a quick performance for someone? Here is a suggested script for how you might introduce yourself and your magic trick:

Script

Break a leg and, most importantly, have fun! This is just the start of your magician career.

Thanks for traveling alongside us during our Discover Week adventures. Come back for Create Week to learn more about how GRUEJARM creates theater.

New Victory Arts Break Supporters

New Victory Arts Break is funded, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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