“SIDance”: The annual Seoul International Dance Festival (SIDance) is returning in October, featuring a total of 51 dance companies from 16 countries. The opener this year is a performance by Canadian troupe Cas Public, with its stylish variation of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Other invited troupes include France’s Cie Heddy Maalem, Finland’s Dance Theatre Auraco, and Italy’s Ambra Senatore. This year’s SIDance runs from Oct. 7 to 27 at Gangdong Arts Center, Seoul Art Center and Goyang Aram Nuri Arts Center. For tickets and information, call (02) 3216-1185.
|A scene from “Sechs Tanze” (UBC)|
“This is Modern”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is staging its contemporary dance piece “This is Modern” this October. The piece is a collection of three contemporary ballets: “Petit Mort” and “Six Dances” (Sechs Tanze) 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
“Wicked”: After playing an unhappy Austrian empress (Elisabeth) and a mysterious, obsessive housekeeper (Rebecca), musical actress Oak Ju-hyun has now been cast to play the famous green-skinned witch in Broadway musical “Wicked.” The upcoming run is the first Korean-language edition of the musical, also featuring an all-Korean cast. The musical tells the story of two very different witches in the Land of Oz ― green-skinned, struggling and often-alienated Elphaba and beautiful and popular blonde Glinda. The show is a ravishing spectacle and fantasy, mixed with a touching account of one’s experience of a difficult youth, life-changing friendship and growing up. “Wicked” will open on Nov. 22 at Charlotte Theater in Jamsil, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
|A promotional image for “Wicked” (Seol & Company)|
“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”: The American adult puppet musical 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. 6 at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1577-3363.
“American Idiot”: Broadway musical “American Idiot,” an adaptation of punk rock band Green Day’s seventh studio album of the same title, will be staged for the first time in Korea. Green Day’s 2004 studio album enjoyed enormous popularity worldwide, selling over 15 million copies with more than 6 million sold in the U.S. alone. The rock musical album tells the story of three young men and their struggles to make sense of the world and find meaning in their lives post-9/11. The musical follows the album’s plot; its script was co-written by Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. “American Idiot” will be performed from Sept. 5 to 22 at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call 1588-5212.Pop music
“The Killers”: American rock band The Killers will be hitting the stage in Seoul for its first concert in Korea. The upcoming concert is the 12th installment of the “Hyundai Card Culture Project” series, which in the past brought acts such as Keane, John Legend, Ke$ha, Jason Mraz and many others. The group released its first studio album “Hot Fuss,” in 2004, featuring “Mr. Brightside,” which became the band’s first Top 10 hit on the U.K. and U.S. Billboard music charts. Since then, The Killers have released three other studio albums ― “Sam’s Town,” “Day & Age” and “Battle Born” ― and have produced a number of hit singles such as “Human,” “When You Were Young” and “Runaways.” The Killers will perform on Oct. 5 in the Olympic Hall at Seoul Olympic Park. Ticket prices are between 77,000 won and 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.
“Global Gathering Korea 2013”: The annual Global Gathering dance music festival’s Korea lineup, themed “Dance, Right Now,” will feature big beat superstar Fatboy Slim and American DJ-producer Porter Robinson. After first establishing itself in the U.K. in 2001, Global Gathering has now spread across the world to locations including Russia, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Belarus and is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best dance music festivals. This year’s Global Gathering Korea will be held on Oct. 12 at Everland’s Caribbean Bay in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Ticket prices range from 77,000 won to 2 million won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
|An official poster for the upcoming K-Hiphop Nation 2013 music festival to be held on Oct. 26 and 27 at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium. (K-Hiphop Nation)|
“K-Hiphop Nation 2013”: The K-Hiphop Nation two-day hip-hop music fest will feature some of the nation’s most popular rap stars and crews including Epik High, MC Sniper, E-Sens, Swings, Leessang, Bae Chi Gi, Bumkey, San E, Geeks and much more. The local hip-hop scene exploded last month, with disses flying in every direction as several popular rap stars, including former Supreme Team member E-Sens and Swings, decided to carry out their feuds publicly with some pretty cutthroat remarks aimed at specific members of the hip-hop community. The upcoming K-Hiphop Nation festival will be held on Oct. 26 and 27 at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium. Ticket prices range from 66,000 won for a one-day pass and 99,000 won for a two-day pass. For more information, visit http://www.k-hiphopnation.com.Classical music
“Parsifal”: The Korea National Opera will premier Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater on Oct. 1, 3 and 5 at 4 p.m. The opera is said to be the “final confession” of the German composer, going deeper into the fundamental nature of human beings. Internationally-acclaimed bass Youn Kwang-chul will take the role of Gurnemanz, joined by equally-famous baritone Kim Don-sup as Amfortas and tenor Christopher Ventris as Parsifal. Maestro Lothar Zagrosek will lead the Korea Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are priced between 10,000 won and 150,000 won. For more information call (02) 586-5282.
|A scene from “Parsifal” (Korea National Opera)|
“Countertenor Andreas Scholl Recital”: Prominent German countertenor Andreas Scholl will have a recital on Sept. 23 at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. A specialist in Baroque music, world-renowned countertenor Scholl is known for having a singing voice equivalent to that of a female contralto or mezzo-soprano. The program for the recital will include notable German lieder such as Haydn’s “Despair,” Schubert’s “Du bist die Ruh D. 776,” Brahm’s “Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2” and Mozart’s “Das Veilchen.” The countertenor will be accompanied by pianist Tamar Halperin. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won to 90,000 won and can be purchased at www.sac.or.kr. For more information, call (02) 541-3183.
“Paik Kun-woo Piano Recital”: Paris-based pianist Paik Kun-woo is performing Schubert’s Impromptu Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4; Moments musicaux Nos. 2, 4 and 6; and Klavierstucke Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on Sept. 14 at Seoul Arts Center. Making his international debut at age 10, Paik has performed with numerous internationally acclaimed orchestras such as the London Symphony, Berlin Symphony and BBC Symphony. Tickets are priced between 50,000 won and 130,000 won. For more information call (02) 599-5743.
“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.Exhibitions
“David Hockney: Bigger Trees Near Water”: The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea introduces the recent masterpiece of British artist David Hockney “Bigger Trees Near Water,” on loan from the Tate in the U.K. The 2007 painting, drawn on 50 canvases that measure 4.5 meters in height and 12 meters in width, is the most representative work in the 73-year-old artist’s late career. The huge painting is Hockney’s approach to reexamining a conventional view toward nature, opening the possibility of seeing ordinary scenes in a new way. The painting is on exhibit at the central hall of the MMCA Gwacheon until Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr.
|“Bigger Trees Near Water” by David Hockney (MMCA)|
“Anomalies”: Kukje Gallery is holding a solo exhibition of Indian artist Bharti Kher, known for her multimedia works using found objects and traditional Indian motifs such as bindi, the red dot applied to Indian women’s foreheads. Kher alludes to both the cultural and conceptual possibilities of the bindi, using them as an unorthodox and highly evocative medium. The exhibition showcases her well-known series of hybrid female figures that intends to reveal the instability and unease of the feminine. The exhibition continues through Oct. 5 at Kukje Gallery in Jongno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449.
“The Sleep of Reason”: British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman hold their first exhibition in Seoul at SongEun Art Space in Apgujeong until Dec. 7. The artists, known for some gruesome images in their artworks, have brought major pieces for the exhibition, including 19th-century portraits of wealthy men and women retouched by the artists to make their faces look as if they are decomposing. “Unhappy Feet” features innumerable miniatures of penguins that turn into predators and kill whales, polar bears and walruses in the South Pole. The adorable penguins in the movie “Happy Feet” are transformed with bloodstains around their mouths, preparing to attack a polar bear. For more information, call (02) 3448-0100.
“The 8th Cheongju International Craft Biennale”: The eighth 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 crafts, 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. 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 including 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 continue 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.Festivals
“World Street Dance Festival”: Korea’s talented dancers will take to the streets of Dongdaemun, Seoul, during the 2013 World Street Dance Festival in October. The dance festival hosts a variety of dance performances from ballet, Korean traditional dance and contemporary dance to sports dance, tango, swing, flamenco and more. The festival also attempts to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of people dancing in a public place. It will gather more than 30,000 citizens to participate in the large-scale flash mob. Last year, it invited citizens to follow Psy’s horse dance in a group. The festival will take place along the 1.5-km stretch from Janghanyeong Station to Jangan Intersection from Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. Oct. 13 at 11 p.m. For more information, call Dongdaemun Culture Center at (02) 2242-9898.
|Cheerleaders perform during the 2012 World Street Dance Festival. (Dongdaemun District Officethe)|
“Baekje Cultural Festival”: One of the oldest cultural festivals in the country, the festival highlights the golden days of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C.-660 A.D.), an ancient Korean kingdom in the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula. Baekje was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla. This year’s festival, which runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, will present nearly 100 events including parades, a memorial ceremony for the four great kings of Baekje, folk games, exhibitions and traditional Korean music and mask dance performances. For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.baekje.org or call (041) 830-2921~8. (Yonhap News)
“The World Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival”: The world’s first fair dedicated to Oriental medicine will take place in Sancheong, a village on Jirisan Mountain, from Sept. 6-Oct. 20. The festival, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Donguibogam, the ancient Korean medical book, showcases the latest Oriental medicine trends, treatments and health information. Visitors will also get the chance to receive free consultation and treatment at the festival. The venues are Donguibogam village and a Korean traditional medicine town in Sancheong district, South Gyeongsang Province. For more information, visit www.tramedi-expo.or.kr (English available), or call (055) 970-8600.