By Claire Lee
  • Published : Jan 17, 2014 - 22:47
  • Updated : Jan 17, 2014 - 22:51


A scene from “Full Moon” (LG Arts Center)
“Full Moon” by Pina Bausch: It’s been almost five years since Germany’s legendary choreographer Pina Bausch died, but her works are still as popular as ever. Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal is returning to Seoul this year with her 2006 work “Vollmond (Full Moon).” The troupe last performed in Korea in 2010. The dance is well-known for using a giant rock and deep water that take up a large part of the stage, while its themes include the celebration of life as well as its danger and joys. “Full Moon” runs from March 28-31 at the LG Arts Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000-120,000 won. For more information, visit www.lgart.com.

“Femme Fatale,” “Lee Sang Syndrome,” “Application of the Basics”: The National Dance Company of Korea is kicking off its new season with three experimental projects. “Femme Fatale,” choreographed by dancer Jang Hyun-soo, depicts the well-known Biblical story of Salome, the daughter of Herodias, who infamously asks for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils. Dancer Cho Jae-hyuk pays special attention to Yi Sang (1910-1937), who is considered to be one of the most imaginative writers in modern Korean literature, and interprets Yi’s works in “Lee Sang Syndrome.” Lastly, dancer Cho Yong-jin makes his choreographic debut with “Application of the Basics,” which features the “basics” of classical Korean dance. “Femme Fatale” runs on Jan. 10 and 11, and “Lee Sang Syndrome” on Jan. 17 and 18. “Application of the Basics” will be on stage on Jan. 24 and 25. All the shows will take place at KB Haneul Youth Theater in Seoul. Tickets for each performances are 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4114.

“Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala”: Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Korea’s Universal Ballet Company presents a special gala in February. Titled “Thank You!” the program consists of scenes from some of the troupe’s most successful repertoires including “Giselle,” “La Bayadere,” “Onegin,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Don Quixote.” Along with the company’s principal dancers, including Hwang Hye-min and Uhm Jae-yong, prominent Korean-born dancers who dance for overseas troupes ― Seo Hee of the American Ballet Theatre and Kang Hyo-jung of the Stuttgart Ballet ― will visit Seoul to join the gala. “Thank You!: The 30th Anniversary Special Gala” runs from Feb. 21-23 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, visit www.universalballet.com.

Classical music

“The Vienna Boys’ Choir New Year Concert”: The Vienna Boys’ Choir, known for their “heavenly voices,” will hold a New Year’s Concert at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall on Jan. 19, led by its first ever female conductor, Kim Bo-mi. Under the baton of the Korean conductor, the Mozart Team of the choir will present medieval church music, waltzes and folk songs from around the world as well as songs from film soundtracks. This is the 17th time since 1978 that the boys’ choir, which has been around for 520 years, is visiting Korea. The choir will also perform at Guri Art Hall, Gyeonggi Province; Daegu Opera House; Gimhae Arts Center, South Gyeongsang Province; and Yeosu Yeul Maru, South Jeolla Province. For information and reservations go to www.clubbalcony.co.kr.

“KBS Symphony Orchestra and Yoel Levi”: KBS Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of new music director Yoel Levi, will hold a concert on Jan. 24 at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall, the first of its Great Symphony Series scheduled throughout this year. The program includes “Han River” by Korean composer Lim June-hee; Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, featuring soloist Christel Lee; and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, “Titan.” Tickets are priced from 20,000-60,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6099-7400 or visit www.kbssymphony.org

“New York Philharmonic Orchestra Seoul Concert”: The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, led by music director Alan Gilbert, will give two concerts at Seoul Arts Center on Feb. 6 and 7 as part of its two-week Asian tour. The Feb. 6 concert will open with Beethoven’s “Fidelio Overture” and his Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring Korean pianist Da Sol. The program is to conclude with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. The next day, the orchestra is to showcase some of the most famous American music ― Marie-Josee Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse’s “Rapture”; Gershwin’s “An American in Paris”; Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” featuring Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone. Tickets range from 50,000-320,000 won. For more information, call 02) 6303-1977. 

Pianist Lim Dong-hyek (Credia)
“Lim Dong-hyek Recital”: Virtuoso pianist Lim Dong-hyek will hold a concert at the Seoul Arts Center on Feb. 18, presenting Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” from the “Suite Bergamasque”; Bach’s Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564; Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 4 (“Moonlight”); and Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major, D. 959. Lim’s upcoming repertoire starkly differs from his previous programs, which have typically featured dramatic and exuberant works by composers such as Chopin, Prokofiev and Ravel. This concert is expected to mark a musical turning point for the pianist as he seeks to shed his image as a young prodigy and widen his artistic capabilities as a mature musician. Ticket prices range from 30,000-100,000 won. For more information, call 1577-1555 or (02) 580-1300. 


“Street Scene,” 1957 by Park Soo-keun (Gana Art Center)
“Park Soo-keun Retrospective”: As this year marks the centennial of artist Park Soo-keun, a retrospective seeks to revive public interest in the master painter. The exhibition is held at the Gana Insa Art Center in Insa-dong, one of the major tourist destinations lined with antique shops in Seoul from Jan. 17 to March 16. The retrospective will feature about 120 works by Park, including 90 oil paintings, watercolor paintings and 30 sketches on loan from private collectors. Its focus is on unveiling his works that haven’t been shown in previous exhibitions. For more information, call (02) 720-1020, or visit www.ganaart.com.

“Re-Atta, Part 1: On-Air Project”: Photographer Atta Kim, whose innovative, striking photographs have received much attention in the global art community, returns with a solo exhibition in Seoul. Kim presents new images to wrap up the “On-Air” project that won him worldwide attention, as well as his previous works such as city images taken with long exposure and introduce another ambitious, philosophical project that overlaps 10,000 snapshots of a city into one. The extensive survey of Kim’s photographs will be held in three parts for two years. The exhibition will be held from Jan. 9 to Feb. 7 at 313 ART PROJECT in Dosan-daero, Gangnam, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 3446-3137.

“Rewriting the Landscape: China and India”: The exhibition at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea presents how contemporary artists in China and India perceive social and natural landscapes, featuring work by prominent artists from two of the fastest-emerging contemporary art markets. Participating artists include Indian artists Ghulam Mohmmed Sheikh, Achutan Ramachandran and Chinese artists Xu Bing and Yin Xiu Zhen. The special exhibition, held in parallel with the opening of the new Seoul branch of the national art museum, offers a glimpse into social conflicts, cultural diversities of the two Asian countries and how artists interpret them in their artworks. The exhibition continues through March 2 at the Gwacheon museum of the MMCA. For more information, visit www.mmca.go.kr.

“Homage to Life”: Arario Gallery Cheonan is holding a solo exhibition of Chinese artist Li Fan, known for portraits that depict the emotions of people in China. The exhibition, held seven years after his first in Korea in 2006, features about 100 works that offer insight into the transition of the artist’s style and use of materials. Li teaches printmaking at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious art schools in China. The exhibition also features sketches, drawings and notes showing the artist’s contemplations on the psychology of modern people. The exhibition runs until Feb. 23 at Arario Gallery Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. For more information, call (041) 551-5100.

“Photography tells Korea”: A touring photo exhibition brings together images that reflect Korean society at four city museums in Daejeon, Changwon, Gwangju and Seoul until April. Each exhibition features different images of Korea captured by professional photographers that shed light on the country’s society, people, history and the cities. The first exhibition will continue through Feb. 26 at the Daejeon Museum of Art, followed by the exhibition at Gyeongnam Art Museum from Jan. 16 to April 16, Seoul Museum of Art from Jan. 28 to March and Gwangju Art Museum from Feb. 4-April 14. For more information, visit www.festivalofphotographyinmuseums.com.


Visitors enjoy snow sledding at Sangam-dong Snow Festival at Noeul Park in Sangam-dong, Seoul. 
(Sangam-dong Snow Festival)
“Sangam-dong Snow Festival”: One doesn’t have to leave Seoul to enjoy outdoor winter activities. Sangam-dong Snow Festival, taking place at Noeul Park in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, offers a variety of winter activities such as ice sledding, top-spinning and other folk play games. The festival boasts the 132-meter sledding slope, the longest in Seoul. The festival’s amusement park zone offers fun rides for children such as bumper cars, snow trains and robot carriage. Admission for sledding is 8,000 won and a ride costs from 2,000 to 3,000 won. The package including admission and free rides cost 26,000 won. It runs until Feb. 23. For more information, visit www.snowfestival.kr, or call 1566-1851.

“Korean Folk Village Lunar New Year Festival”: The Korean Folk Village provides a variety of folk activities during the Lunar New Year holiday. Visitors to the village located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, can participate in various Korean traditional activities such as kite-flying yutnori, or Korean chess, and watch traditional dances and martial arts performances. Other highlights include fortunetelling, trying New Year’s rice cake and jisin balpgi, which is a traditional festive event of stepping on the ground to drive away bad spirits of the earth and bring good luck. The programs will take place in the Korean Folk Village until Feb. 2. For more information, visit www.koreanfolk.co.kr.

“Pyeongchang Trout Festival”: The annual trout fishing event is being held in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, known as one of the coldest regions in Korea that has record snowfalls. The Pyeongchang Trout Festival invites visitors to trout ice fishing and a variety of activities from folk to snow sports such as riding four-wheel ATVs on the ice, snow rafting and sleigh trains. The festival will be held to Feb. 2 by Oedaecheon Stream, located in front of Jinbu Bus Terminal. For more information, visit festival700.or.kr (Korean only) or call (033) 336-4000.

“Bugok Hawaii Ice Sculpture Festival”: The Bugok Hawaii Resort, a popular hot spring resort in Bugok, South Gyeongsang Province, is holding its sixth ice sculpture festival from Dec. 22 to Feb. 2. The annual ice sculpture festival invites visitors to its popular hot spring bath and many ice sculptures. The festival also offers winter activities such as ice sledding and snowball fights. The resort has opened its sledding hill and ice-skating and sledding rink, along with a themed hot spring bath in the winter. For more information, call (055) 536-6331 or visit www.bugokhawaii.co.kr (English, Japanese and Chinese available).


A promotional image of “The Secret Rapture” (Story P)
“The Secret Rapture”: Actress Choo Sang-mi is returning to the stage after a five-year hiatus, with a Korean rendition of “The Secret Rapture,” a 1988 British play by David Hare. It is the first time that the play is being performed in Korea. In the show, Choo plays Isobel, who runs a small graphic design company with her boyfriend, Irwin. She is forced to reunite with her selfish sister Marion, a vice environment minister, when their father dies. The sisters are left to decide what to do with Katherine, their alcoholic and mentally unstable stepmother. “The Secret Rapture” runs from Feb. 7-March 2 at Dongsoong Arts Center in Seoul. For more information, call 1600-8523.

“Red”: The Korean rendition of John Logan’s play “Red” is being performed in Seoul, starring veteran actor Kang Shin-il and popular musical actor Han Ji-sang. The play deals with the life of the late American painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and his turbulent relationship with his fictional assistant Ken. “Red” runs until Jan. 26 at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 35,000-50,000 won. For more information, visit www.sac.or.kr.

“Ghost the Musical”: The Korean production of “Ghost the Musical” is being performed in Seoul. The show is an adaptation of the mega-hit 1990 romantic fantasy-thriller film “Ghost,” starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, which was also hugely popular in Korea. The musical had its world premiere in Manchester, England, in 2011, and was also performed on Broadway in 2012. The current Korean production is the first in Asia. It tells the story of Molly, a grieving young woman in danger, and the ghost of her murdered boyfriend Sam, who tries to save her with the help of a wacky psychic. The current run stars some of the most popular musical and TV stars in the country, including Joo Won, Ivy and Park Ji-yeon. “Ghost the Musical” runs until June at D-Cube Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000-130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 557-1987.

“Mamma Mia!”: The global smash hit musical “Mamma Mia!” is being performed in Seoul with a British cast. Based on ABBA songs including “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Thank You for the Music,” the musical is the hilarious tale of a young bride-to-be’s search for her unknown father. The show premiered in the Korean language starring an all-Korean cast in 2004. This is the first time the musical is being performed here in the English language and starring a cast from London. “Mamma Mia!” runs until March 23 at Blue Square’s Samsung Electronics Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000-150,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555. 

Pop music

Hip-hop trio Rhythm Power is to host their first solo concert on Jan. 25 at the Yes24 Muv Hall. (Amoeba Culture)
“Rhythm Power Concentration”: The popular hip-hop trio Rhythm Power with members Gee Goo-in, Hang Zoo and Boi B will be putting on the group’s first solo concert in celebration of the trio’s upcoming comeback album, which is scheduled to be released on Jan. 23. After making their start in the local underground hip-hop scene, the three rappers of Rhythm Power landed a record deal and became a part of the Amoeba Culture family ― home to a number of the nation’s hottest hip-hop acts including Dynamic Duo, Primary and Zion.T ― and its eponymous album in 2010. Rhythm Power will perform the group’s first solo concert at the Yes24 Muv Hall on Jan. 25. Tickets are 33,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

“The Avril Lavigne Tour in Seoul”: The internationally renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne will put on a concert in Seoul in February as part of the rocker’s world tour. Lavigne first entered the music scene in 2002 with her debut album “Let Go,” which included her smash hit singles “Complicated” and “Sk8ter Boy.” The album went multiplatinum in a number of countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Lavigne has since sold more than 30 million albums and more than 50 million singles worldwide. In November, the musician released her eponymous fifth studio album featuring lead track “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” Lavigne will perform her solo concert at the Olympic Hall in Seoul on Feb. 19. Tickets prices range from 99,000 won to 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

“Brown Eyed Soul 4th Album Anniversary Concert”: The five-member R&B ensemble of Brown Eyed Soul will hold two solo concerts in Seoul in commendation of the group’s comeback and their latest release, “Thank Your Soul.” The album was released in December to mark the 10th anniversary since Brown Eyed Soul’s debut. The quintet released its first album “Soul Free” in September 2003, and is one of the few local R&B groups that pride themselves on their American-style approach to soul music. The upcoming Brown Eyed Soul concerts will be held at Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Feb. 22 and 23. Tickets prices range from 88,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.