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‘Czech Points’ festival in Seoul

Czech music is widely known and appreciated in Korea but little is known of the Czech Republic’s other cultural offerings.

Throughout the month of October, Seoulites will be treated to a wide array of cultural genres.

“We think that putting all the events under one theme like the Czech Points in Seoul Festival will show the variety of Czech culture available while offering more than just the things that people know,” said Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr.

The festival connects 22 events in 15 different parts of the city, from the small venues like Moonglow Jazz club which will host the Emil Viklicky Trio until Oct. 4 to the grand halls and venues of COEX and the Sejong and Seoul Art Centers, where a slew of events are planned.
Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

“We understand that culture is part of trade,” he said. “It creates a good image of the country.”

Two musicals are slated for the month; the first is the “The Kingdom of the Winds” at the Seoul Arts Center from Oct. 14-23. The musical brings together three-time Korean musical award winner Zdenek Bartak with lyricist Park In-sun for a musical version of a famous manhwa about the tragic love of a royal couple during the Goryeo Dynasty.

For a musical that is more suited for today’s vibes, “Hamlet, the Rock Opera” by Janek Ledecky will be staged at the Universal Arts Center from Oct. 20 until Dec. 17.

“It’s Hamlet but made into a Czech musical on a Korean stage with famous Korean musical stars,” he said.

The “Beauty of the Classics” will bring the Luvetus Svitavy Choir to Seoul on Oct. 28 for a night of classical and sacred music together with a few Czech folk songs.

Little is known about Czech animation except for the little mole Krtek. From Oct. 4-5, the embassy will present two young animation filmmakers who set new trends but continue in the tradition of the old great Czech animation masters.

Lovers of the theater can rejoice because world-renowned black theater, developed by Czech artists in the 1960s, will bring to the Sejong Center a unique blend of modern dance elements mixed with mine and non-verbal performances on Oct. 20.

“Sometimes we feel that we should overcome the image that the Czech Republic is a tourism paradise. Yes we are, but we are also an industrial powerhouse,” Olsa said.

To examine Czech technology further, a joint Green Technology Seminar will be hosted from Oct. 11-13 at COEX by ministries from Korea and the Czech Republic to share the knowledge and experiences of environmental technologies, and to discuss the industry’s future direction.

“But at the same time, culture and the soft power diplomacy is to show the beauty of a nation,” he said.

For a complete list of all the events, their dates and venues including contact information, visit the embassy website at www.mfa.cz/seoul.

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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