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Goings-on around town

Goings on around town August 2012

The article courtesy of Seoul magazine



Uniqlo AX    Mar 16, 7pm    110,000 won    T. 02-563-0595    Gwangnaru Station 광나루역 (Line 5), Exit 2

Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright is set to steal the limelight when he comes to Seoul for a concert. His musical style draws on classical music, opera, musicals, and pop, yet he cannot be pigeonholed into any of these categories. The American-Canadian artist was affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and highly praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality.” Some of his songs used as original sound tracks include “Across the Universe” for I Am Sam, “The Maker Makes” for Brokeback Mountain, and “Hallelujah” for Shrek.
Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat

Charlotte Theater    Feb 12–Apr 11    VIP: 130,000 won, R: 110,000 won, S: 90,000 won, A: 70,000 won
T. 02-747-5811

A Korean-licensed production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been unveiled, offering a glimpse into the much-touted collaborative musical between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The story is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. Its family-friendly story line, universal themes, and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions, both professional and amateur, since its premiere in the early 1970s. The Korean production features four high-profile celebrities as Joseph—heartthrob actor Song Chang-eui, stylish crooner Jo Sung-mo, talent rocker Chung Dong-ha, and Yim Si-wan, lead vocal of the boy band act Children of Empire.

Imjingak Village Feb 23–Mar 10 Various bus lines available from Paju City Hall

To mark the 60th year of the armistice of the Korean War, globally-acclaimed installation artist Lee Eun-sook has dedicated her latest work along the wired fence located in the border village of Imjingak, north of Seoul. Lee experiments with her materials and light as a sculptural element. The tragic war theme is reflected in her use of old photographic images from the 1950–53 fratricidal war in the Korean Peninsula with iconic florescent threads and translucent polyester film panels. In particular, she highlights the millions of families who were forced to separate in the two Koreas as a result of the civil war.

Doosan Art Center, Sogang Univ. Mary Hall, and 5 other venues    Mar 22–Apr 18    Ticket prices vary from free admission to 110,000 won.

Festival Bo:m is an international festival of performing and visual arts that is multicultural as well as multi-genre in nature. The interdisciplinary show encourages experimentalism and challenging performances, with a strong emphasis on innovative and avant-garde works. The annual show strives to introduce artists with diverse cultural backgrounds, especially those from Asia, on the international stage. This year, a total of 26 art exhibitions and productions of dance, drama, and music will be featured at various venues throughout Seoul March 22–April 18. Six different lectures and workshops will also be held during the month-long event.

Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Mar 20, 8pm R: 120,000 won, S: 90,000 won, A: 50,000 won T. 02-599-5743 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5.
Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

Pink Martini, the famed “little orchestra” group from the US, will give a concert in Seoul on March 20. The 12-member band draws inspiration from music from all over the world, thus creating a repertoire that skillfully blends classical, jazz, and old-fashioned pop. Likewise, the band performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The Portland, OR-based band is characterized by its signature eclectic, acoustic-oriented sounds and is often associated with the neo-swing trend of the 1990s. While most neo-swing acts favored a combination of jump blues and early rock & roll, the diverse Pink Martini have offered a risk-taking blend of jazz (mainly swing), world music, cabaret, lounge, and classical film music.

Rolling Hall    Mar 23    54,000 won (45,000 won in advance)

Toronto native Claire Boucher, who goes by the stage name Grimes, will steal the limelight in a Seoul concert. Her music has been noted for its atypical combination of vocal elements as well as a wide array of influences, ranging from industrial and electronic to pop, hip-hop, R&B, noise rock, and even medieval music. The experimental Grimes draws upon vastly different influences and creates a mystical sound and feel with her haunting vocals. Grimes’ live show is sonically and visually appealing, with infectious beats, dancers, and improvisation. Don’t miss her live concert in Korea, where she will be appearing with her new setup, a full band.

Uniqlo AX Mar 27, 8pm 110,000 won T. 02-332-3277 Gwangnaru Station 광나루역 (Line 5), Exit 2

The biggest Irish band since U2 comes to Korea for the first time ever. So much has changed for the Script since they released their first album four years ago. First they broke into Ireland and Britain; then the States; then everywhere from Asia to South Africa. Along the way, they toured with U2, Take That, and Paul McCartney, sailed through the second-album syndrome that sinks so many bands, played to a 55,000-strong crowd at an historic hometown show in Dublin, amassed almost four million followers on Facebook and 1.5 million on Twitter, and saw their singer star on TV talent show The Voice. Their music has been featured in popular television programs such as 90210, Ghost Whisperer, The Hills, Waterloo Road, East Enders, Made in Chelsea, and The Vampire Diaries.

Universal Art Center Mar 30, 7pm R: 132,000 won, S: 110,000 won, A: 88,000 won
T. 02-6339-1232 Achasan Station 아차산역 (Line 5), Exit 3

English actress and singer Jane Birkin will dedicate her upcoming Seoul concert to her lifelong music partner and composer Serge Gainsbourg. In 1969, she and Serge Gainsbourg released the song “Je t’aime… moi non plus” (“I love you… me neither”), written by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them on vocals, which caused a scandal for its sexual explicitness. Some 20-plus years after his death, Birkin’s devotion to spreading his work around the world has raised his profile. Currently, Birkin is working with a jazzy quartet of European-based Japanese musicians.

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea    Thru Apr 21    12,000 won (including Deoksugung Palace entrance fee)    T. 02-2188-6000

A high-profile collection of Czech’s modern masterpieces is on view in downtown Seoul. The 107 paintings were carefully selected by the National Gallery in Prague and represent 28 different Czech artists who were active from 1895 through 1943. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the Czech Republic went through a steep rise in nationalism spurred by the declining of imperialism, the outbreak of the First World War, the birth of its country, the emergence of socialism, and the introduction of the Western modern system. Czech modern art is being introduced to Korea for the first time now.

Aewol County, western Jejudo Mar 8–10 Free Flight to Jejudo takes about 1 hour.

The City of Jeju is holding the 16th Jeju Deulbul Festival Mar 8–10. The site of the event is Saebyeol Oreum, a small crater formation west of the city. It is part of Korea’s agricultural tradition to set fire to farm fields in the early spring and thereby ready them for planting new crops by removing dead grass and destructive insects. The festival has evolved over the years and has now become an annual event that attracts thousands of tourists. Visitors place the note of their wishes in the burning bales of hay in hopes of their wishes coming true.

National Theater of Korea Mar 26—31 20,000–70,000 won
T. 02-2280-4114 Dongguk University Station 동대입구역 (Line 3), Exit 6

The National Theater of Korea will unveil the traditional opera, or changgeuk, version of the famous novel Seopyeonje. Its story tells of a family of traditional Korean pansori singers. The boy believes the stepfather caused his mother’s death and runs away, leaving father and daughter to travel and perform alone. Believing her art can become elevated to the highest standard only by sensory deprivation, the father is said to have blinded the child. Thereafter, she becomes a legendary performer. Years later the half-brother arrives in a village and finds his sister in a tavern. Adapted into a film production, Seopyeonje became the first Korean movie to break the 1 million attendance barrier in 1993.

Mar 9, Apr 13 May 11 & Jun 22 Platoon Kunsthalle

Hosted by the French and German embassies, the Institut Francais, and the Goethe Institute, Digital Peace is thus an artistic season oriented toward the celebration of peace and reconciliation, a series of events fitting into the historic continuity of this opening up of Korea. The program proposes a selection of Franco-German works, artists, thinkers, designers, expositions, schools, institutions, labels, and festivals—the common thread is the notion of peace expressed through the broadest variety of digital approaches, forms, and expressions. All the events are organized in collaboration, correspondence, or connection with Korean artists, galleries, institutions, schools, and labels.

Jiseul, an indie feature about one of Korea’s darkest yet lesser-known chapters in its modern history, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in late January. Written and directed by O Muel, a native and cultural activist of Jejudo Island, the black-and-white movie is set during the Jeju April 3 Incident of 1948 and tells of some 120 villagers who lost their lives at that time. The villagers barely survive hunger by eating raw potatoes in a cave for two months. Eventually their endurance wanes, and fear begins to test the group’s mettle. In actuality, 30,000 islanders were branded as Communist insurgents and killed by the government. Jiseul is the local dialectical term for potatoes, which the director sees as a soul food for humanity and as an icon of hope and life.


Gymnasium No. 1, Olympic Park May 19, 6pm R: 110,000 won, S: 99,000 won
T. 02-563-0595 Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3

The three-piece Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros will perform in Seoul on May 19. Known for its ethereal sound, frontman Jonsi Birgisson’s falsetto vocals, and the use of bowed guitar, the band’s music is also noticeable for its incorporation of classical and minimalist aesthetic elements. Since its 1994 debut in Reykjavik, Iceland, the band has garnered wide international acclaim for its signature style of playing guitar with the bow from a cello, accentuated with reverb, creating a sweeping, fluid sound that is unique for an electric guitar.

Gymnasium No. 1, Olympic Park May 19, 6pm R: 110,000 won, S: 99,000 won
T. 02-563-0595 Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3

French pianist Richard Clayderman, whom the Guinness Book of World Records once dubbed “the most successful pianist in the world,” will hold a concert tour around Korea in April. With his lush and sophisticated instrumental approach to pop music, Clayderman sold more than 20 million copies of his 1977 debut album Ballade Pour Adeline in 38 countries. The Korea tour will feature a selection of his instrumental renditions of popular music, rearrangements of movie soundtracks, ethnic music, and easy-listening arrangements of popular works of classical music.
The article courtesy of Seoul magazine
Date 03/19/2013

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