Updated: Friday, 21 September 2012 15:36

What They Never Taught You In School



NANTA (© COOKIN’)

NANTA (COOKIN’) performers

Story by SARAH CHANG

The kitchen is a playground for the Korean NANTA (COOKIN’) performers. They tell us how you can Stomp around with your carrots and er, eat them too.

1. Start working out.

Playing with food the adult way requires the strength and stamina of an athlete. How else can you contort your body mid-air holding on to a bar with one hand and wielding a knife with the other? Or chop cabbage while break-dancing? “The amount of energy you need for a 90-minute show with no intervals is tremendous,” says the leading man otherwise known as ‘Head Chef’. “We went through a 10-month training course after passing the audition. We rehearse for 12 hours daily, dancing, acting and practising percussion.” Leading lady ‘Hot Sauce’ admits that she’s thought of throwing in the (tea) towel. “Our training isn’t just physically draining. It’s also mentally exhausting. Sometimes, I feel like giving up, but I try to remember my initial passion.”

2. Be prepared to kill a lot of vegetables.

Your training ground is a housewife’s nightmare: think flying cabbage shreds and soy sauce splashing all over (good luck, first row audience!) the floor. But, like they say, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Always use the real deal during practice ’cos make-believe props don’t cut it, says Head Chef. “We use real vegetables during rehearsals so that we get used to the ‘feel’ of them.” Hot Sauce even practises her moves at home, albeit less intensely. “If I cook and use the knife like I do in Nanta,” she muses, “it’d be impossible to clean my kitchen! But I’m very proud of what I can do so I cook a lot just so I can use my knife skills.”

For the full story, read this week's issue of 8 DAYS (#1144).

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