“Seoul Fringe Festival”: The Seoul Fringe Festival will provide a showcase of independent artists. Individual artists or groups can freely perform drama, dance, mime, music and arts at the festival, which will allow the performers and the audience alike to enjoy the freedom of expression and selection. A total of 140 individual artists and teams will put on performances in various indoor and outdoor venues like small theaters, live clubs, galleries and streets near Hongik University in western Seoul from Aug. 29-Sept. 14. For more information call (02) 325-8150 or go to www.seoulfringefestival.net. (Yonhap News)
|An art performance that will be staged during the 2013 Seoul Fringe Festival. ( Seoul Fringe Festival)|
“Chungju World Martial Arts Festival”: All kinds of martial arts will be showcased at the martial arts festival taking place in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province from Sept. 6-10. The festival holds demonstrations and performances of various forms of martial arts, including Korean traditional martial arts taekwondo, taekkyeon and hapkido. Foreign martial arts teams will be invited to perform during the festival which will be held at the World Martial Arts Park in Chungju. For more information, visit www.martialarts.or.kr. (English available)
“Hyoseok Cultural Festival”: The annual literature festival will commemorate the modern Korean writer Lee Hyo-seok and his popular novel “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom.” The festival will take place in the main setting of his novel, a small village in Bongpyeong, Gangwon Province. The festival will offer various literary programs including an exhibition of poems, a literary night, a Hyo-seok essay contest as well as many hands-on experiences including cooking with buckwheat. Visitors will also have a chance to visit the author’s birthplace and memorial hall. The festival runs from Sept. 6-22 at the Lee Hyo-seok cultural village. For more information, call (033) 335-2323 or visit www.hyoseok.com.Dance
“11 Minutes”: The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company is staging “11 Minutes,” a modern dance based on celebrated Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s erotic novel of the same title. The dance is the first work that the troupe is staging after the appointment of its new director, Ahn Ae-soon. The dance features a total of five young dancers ― three male and two female ― as well as jazz music. “11 Minutes” runs from Sept. 5 to 8 at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 15,000 won to 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3472-1420.
|The official poster for “11 Minutes” (KNCDC)|
“Don Quixote”: The Korean National Ballet is presenting “Don Quixote,” a ballet based on an episode taken from the world’s beloved novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes. The piece, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus, was re-choreographed by local artist Moon Byung-nam. Moon is the associate artistic director for the national ballet troupe. “Don Quixote” runs from Aug. 28 to 31 at Seoul Arts Center’s CJ Towol Theater. Tickets cost 5,000 won to 30,000 won. For more information, call 1566-1369.
“This is Modern”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is staging its contemporary dance repertoire “This is Modern” this October. The piece is a collection of three contemporary ballets ― “Petit Mort,” “Six Dances” by Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian and “This is Your Life” by Korean choreographer Huh Yong-soon. Compared to classical ballets, the show is said to spotlight the different dancing styles and flair of each dancer. “This is Modern” runs from Oct. 24-27 at Seoul Arts Center’s CJ Towol Theater. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300.Theater
“Bonnie & Clyde”: Broadway musical Bonnie & Clyde is being staged in Seoul for the first time. The musical features the infamous love story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the well known American robbers who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression. The show had its Broadway premiere in 2011 and won two Tony Award nominations in 2012. “Bonnie & Clyde” runs from Sept. 4 to Oct. 27 at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call 1588-0688.
“Avenue Q”: American adult puppet musical “Avenue Q” has its Seoul premiere this summer. The show is a coming-of-age tale featuring the anxieties and struggles associated with entering adulthood. The show, which also features “Sesame Street”-inspired puppets along with the actors and actresses, is famous for its adult-themed subject matter, such as pornography, racism and homosexuality. “Avenue Q” runs from Aug. 23 to Oct. 16 at Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
|A scene from “Avenue Q” (Seol & Company)|
“Mr. Onjo”: Homegrown musical “Mr. Onjo” is currently being performed for the first time in Seoul. Based on the historical account of Onjo, the founding monarch of Baekje (B.C. 18 ― A.D. 660), the musical features a love story of the young Onjo and his fictional love interest Dalggotmuri. Popular singer Hong Kyung-min plays the young Onjo, while opera singer Park So-yeon and popular girl group Jewelry member Park Se-mi share the role of Dalggotmuri. “Mr. Onjo” runs until Sept. 1 at Hongik Daehangno Art Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 70,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 582-1089.
“Elisabeth”: Korea’s EMK Musical Company is once again staging “Elisabeth,” a German musical about the real-life 19th-century legendary Austrian Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898). Starring former girl group FIN.K.L. member-turned-musical actress Ok Ju-hyun, singer and actor Lee Ji-hun, singer Park Hyo-shin, and JYJ member and musical star Kim Jun-su, the musical portrays the life and death of the beautiful yet unhappy empress seduced by the spirit of death. Its first Seoul run, which took place last year, was enormously successful, sweeping many awards including Best Musical at the Musical Awards. “Elisabeth” runs at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seoul from July 26 to Sept. 7. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6391-6333.
“The Scarlet Pimpernel”: Broadway musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is being staged in Seoul featuring local musical stars including Han Ji-sang and Park Gun-hyung. Set in England and France during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, the musical is based on the adventure novel of the same title by Hungarian-born British novelist Emma Orczy (1865-1947), and tells the story of Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy and often silly man in London who in fact is the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, a hero who rescues French aristocrats from death in Revolutionary France. Musical actress Kim Sun-young and former girl group S.E.S member Bada share the role of Percy’s love interest. The musical runs from July 2 to Sept. 8 at LG Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.Pop music
The “YB Garage Concert ‘Garage Chaos’”: In honor of the band’s latest album “Reel Impulse,” the five rockers of YB Band will be hosting a special three-day garage concert from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at Daelim Garage in Seongsu-dong. “Garage Chaos” is a 19-and-older restricted, hard-core warehouse rock show in celebration of the band’s long-awaited comeback album. YB Band, also known as the Yoon Do-hyun Band, released its ninth studio album, “Reel Impulse,” on June 25, more than four years after releasing its eighth album “Coexist.” Tickets to the band’s upcoming performance are 88,000 won and can be purchased online at www.interpark.com or Yes24 at www.yes24.com.
|YB Band is to hold a solo concert titled “YB Garage Concert Garage Chaos” from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at Daelim Garage in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. Offical (YB website)|
“One Hiphop Festival”: The One Hiphop Festival is an all-night hip-hop music extravaganza featuring some of the nation’s biggest names in hip-hop as well as several world-renowned international rap stars. This year’s hip-hop fest will feature American rappers Nelly and Tyga and local hip-hop artists Jay Park, Bae Chi Gi, Verbal Jint, Bumkey, San E, P-type, Dok2 and others. The Grammy Award-winning Southern rap icon Nelly rose to fame straight from his debut in 2000 with his first album “Country Grammar,” which went on to top the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. The One Hiphop Festival will be held on Sept. 7 at the KINTEX 8 Hall in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. Ticket prices range from 99,000 won to 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Justin Bieber”: Canadian teenage pop star Justin Bieber will be making his way to Korea for his first concert here on Oct. 10 at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. A year after being discovered on YouTube, Bieber went on to release his debut seven-track EP “My World,” which went platinum in the Untied States. Bieber has released three full studio albums, including his most recent “Believe” which debuted at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 music chart and recorded record sales of around 374,000 copies in its first week, giving the artist yet another certified platinum album. Ticket prices for the upcoming concert range from 99,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.Classical Music
“Musicians from New York Philharmonic Orchestra”: Fourteen members of the world-renowned New York Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing at Seongnam Arts Center on Sept. 6. Lisa Kim, the orchestra’s second violinist, as well as Son Yoo-bin, the first Korean to play a wind instrument in the orchestra, will be performing alongside other prominent musicians playing viola, cello, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn. Pianist Keuna Lee, who played for the chamber music series for the New York Philharmonic, will also join. The program includes Rossini’s “Overture to ‘Barber of Sevill,’” Mozart’s “Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat major, K452,” Tchaikovsky’s “String Sextet in D minor ‘Souvenir de Florence’” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.” The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. in Seongnam Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 150,000 won. Reservations can be made at 1544-8117 or www.snart.or.kr.
|Poster for “Musicians from New York Philharmonic Orchestra”|
“American Night”: The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kwame Ryan and joined by pianist Joyce Yang, will perform in “American Night,” the fourth of five concerts in the Platinum Series that began in February 2013. The program will include Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis,” Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini,” Bernstein’s “Candid Overture,” Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and classic American composer Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” The concert will take place on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. in Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Ticket prices range from 10,000 won to 60,000 won.
“La Fantasia”: The Sumi Jo Park Concert “La Fantasia” will take place at the 88 Lakeside Stage in Seoul’s Olympic Park on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. The acclaimed Korean soprano will perform along with two-time Grammy Award-nominee violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and vocal ensemble Rottini. Conductor Ariel Kim will lead the Ditto Orchestra. The program will include a mix of classical songs, pop songs and movie soundtracks such as Ennio Morricone’s “Nella Fantasia,” Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2,” John Williams’ “Star Wars” and more. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 80,000 won while family seats for four cost 200,000 won. Inquiries and ticket purchases can be made at www.clubbalcony.com or 1577-5266.
“BACH for SOLO” and “Code Name: BACH”: Ensemble Ditto will hold two additional performances, on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, in response to the popularity of last month’s seventh “Ditto Festival.” “BACH for SOLO” on Aug. 31 will feature solo pieces by Bach, including Partita No. 3 for violin in E major, BWV 100 and Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV825. The program for the next day’s “Code Name: BACH” includes works that are thought to have continued Bach’s musical style such as Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 22 in A major, K. 305, and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66. Ensemble Ditto is a project chamber ensemble that started performing in 2007, with Richard Yongjae O’Neill on the viola, Stefan P. Jackiw and Daniel Jung on the violin, Michael Nicolas on the cello, and Ji-yong on the piano. The concerts will be Ji-yong’s final performances. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 80,000 won and can be purchased at www.clubbalcony.com. For more information, call 1577-5266.Exhibitions
“The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale”: The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale, the world’s biggest craft festival, will showcase modern craft trends in the country’s birthplace of metal crafts, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province from Sept. 11 to Oct. 20. Under the theme of “Something OLD Something NEW,” the craft biennale will exhibit all genres of craft works, including metal works, ceramics, wood lacquer, textiles and glass while running academic workshops and educational programs for children. This year’s biennale focuses on the artistic aspect of craftworks as well as their practical uses and purposes, bringing together 6,000 works by 3,000 artists from 60 countries around the world.
|An exhibition view of the 7th Cheongju International Craft Biennale in 2011.(Cheongju International Craft Biennale)|
Admission is 10,000 won for adults, 4,000 won for teenagers and 3,000 won for children. Tickets can be purchased online at life.ticketlink.co.kr. The exhibitions open throughout the biennale period without holidays. For more information, visit www.okcj.org.
“Robert Capa”: Rare original prints by the late Robert Capa are on exhibit in Seoul for the first time to mark the centennial of the photographer’s birth. Hailed as the world’s greatest war photographer, Capa captured moments that became iconic war images and continues to inspire many photojournalists and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg to this day. The photos on exhibit consist of war images from major battles of the early 20th century and portraits of leading cultural figures of the period such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemingway. The exhibition continues through Oct. 28 at Sejong Art Center. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for teenagers and 7,000 won for children. For more information, visit www.robertcapa.co.kr or call (02) 3701-1216.
“Dancers Among Us”: Jordan Matter, a New York-based photographer, has been shooting dancers in everyday settings ― out in a park, on a pedestrian walk, in a subway and restaurant. The dancers’ bodies in motion against the mundane backdrops create images that people have never seen before. The photographs are currently on exhibit at Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Anguk-dong, Seoul, until Sept. 22. Admission is 8,000 won for adults and 6,000 won for children and teenagers. The exhibition opens from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (02) 736-4371.
“Calder”: Leeum presents a retrospective of works by Alexander Calder (1898―1976), the American artist who transformed the history of art with his use of unconventional materials and his dramatic re-imagining of space. Co-organized with the Calder Foundation in New York, the exhibition at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Itaewon showcases over 100 works by the artist, spanning from the 1920s through the 1970s. The exhibition continues through Oct. 20. The museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Admission is 8,000 won for adults and 5,000 won for students. English-language docent-guided tours are available on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For more information, call (02) 2014-6901.
“Takashi in Superflat Wonderland”: PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art presents a solo exhibition of pop artist Takashi Murakami from July 4 to Dec. 8. As the first retrospective of Takashi Murakami held in Korea, this exhibition allows one to experience and examine the artist’s oeuvre by featuring a broad panorama of his creative endeavors including his anime-inspired figures and paintings that reflect his theory of “Superflat” ― a combination of elements of Japanese traditional painting, manga culture, fine arts and commercialism.