The Korea Herald



By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 24, 2012 - 20:21

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Pop Music

“Mingus Big Band”: The Mingus Big Band, a group of musicians from New York famous for their exciting jazz ensemble performances, is coming to Korea for the first time. The group, consisting of 14 acclaimed artists, celebrates the music of the composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. Under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, widow of the late Mingus, the band has been touring U.S. cities and abroad, and has been nominated for a number of Grammy Awards. The band will perform at LG Arts Center in Seoul on Sept. 7. Tickets are 40,000 won to 80,000 won. For details, call (02) 2005-0114 or

“Keane Concert in Seoul”: British alternative rock band Keane will hold their first concert in Seoul on Sept. 24 at Handball Stadium at Olympic Park. The four-member band with Tim Rice-Oxley on piano and bass, Tom Chaplin on vocals and guitar, Richard Huges on drums and Jesse Quin on bass and percussion is currently on world tour. Keane rose to fame with its debut album “Hopes and Fears” in 2004. The band’s hit song “Somewhere Only We Know” was featured in U.S. drama series “Grey’s Anatomy.” Tickets range from 99,000 won to 125,000 won. For more information, call (02)3141-3488 or visit
Duke Ellington Orchestra (Jarasum Jazz Festival) Duke Ellington Orchestra (Jarasum Jazz Festival)

“Jarasum International Jazz Festival”: The 9th Annual Jarasum International Jazz Festival is scheduled to take place on Jarasum and in downtown of Gapyeong County, Gyeonggi Province, from Oct. 12-14. The festival will feature professional jazz bands including The Jimmy Cobb, Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco All Star Trio, Duke Ellington Orchestra, South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, jazz guitarist John Scofield and many others. A three-day pass is 60,000 won. For more information, visit or call (031) 581-2813~4.


“Hedwig”: The Korean adaptation of John Cameron Mitchell’s rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is being staged for its seventh run. The musical, which tells the story of an East German transgender singer, has been performed in Korea a total of 1,256 times since its opening run in April 2005. For the current run, actor Oh Man-seok, who was cast in the leading role in the 2005 run, is once again starring as the singer. Actor Park Gun-hyung, who recently made his TV appearance in MBC drama “I Do, I Do,” is sharing the role with Oh. “Hedwig” runs until Oct. 21 at KT&G Sangsang Art Hall in southern Seoul. Tickets cost 55,000 won to 66,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555. 
A scene from musical “Hedwig”(Yonhap News) A scene from musical “Hedwig”(Yonhap News)

“The Hidden House”: Based on the life of young Holocaust victim Anne Frank (1929-1945) and her diary entries, local theater troupe Banana Moon Project’s play “The Hidden House” focuses on her relationship with Peter van Pels, a teenage boy who became romantically involved with Anne while hiding in the secret annex. Anne and Peter’s family members went into hiding in the secret rooms of an office building in Amsterdam, after the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. The Jewish group was caught after two years in hiding and sent to concentration camps. Both Anne and Peter did not survive. The play follows Anne and Peter’s years in the annex, including how they enter into a romance and end up losing each other in the end. Tickets cost 20,000 won. Audience must be over 12 years of age. For more information, call (02) 1599-7838.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks”: Celebrating the 40th anniversary of her debut, veteran actress Go Doo-shim returns to the stage as a passionate dancer. A Korean adaptation of American playwright Richard Alfieri’s 2001 play of the same title, the play begins as past-middle-age Lily Harrington (Go) receives her first visit from her private dance instructor Michael Minetti (Ji Hyun-jun). She has been living alone in an expensive, gulf-front condo in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, ever since her husband’s death a number of years before. Michael visits Lily once a week, for six weeks. The two, who come from very different backgrounds, dance the swing, tango, waltz, foxtrot, Cha-Cha and contemporary dance while gradually sharing their fears and secrets of their difficult past. “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” runs until Sept. 2 at Doosan Art Center in central Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 70,000 won. For tickets and inquiries, call 1588-0688.

“Heotang”: Filmmaker and theater director Jang Jin is staging his 1995 play “Heotang,” meaning “labor in vain,” for the third time. The plot of the play develops as two male prisoners, who have been living comfortably in their unusual jail cell, greet a third member in the shared room. She turns out to be a young pregnant woman, who has lost most of her memory and suffers a minor speech disorder stemming from what seems like severe trauma. Unlike the two male prisoners, however, it is revealed that she used to know why she was being sent to the jail before losing her memory. Yearning for freedom and truth, one of the two men tries to get the troubled woman’s memory back by doing a therapy-like role-play. “Heotang” runs until Sept. 2 at Dongsung Art Center in Daehangno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 747-5885.

“Chicago”: Veteran singer and musical star Insooni (Cats) and heavyweight musical actress Choi Jung-won (”Mama Mia,“ ”Guys and Dolls“) are returning as Velma Kelly, the vaudevillian and murderess in “Chicago.” First opened in 1975, the “celebrity criminal” musical, which delves into the corruption of the authorities dealing with a murder case and a cabaret singer in Chicago in the 1920s, is Broadway’s fourth-longest-running show. The Seoul production’s music is directed by popular conductor and actress Kolleen Park, who will also conduct a 14-member band that performs live along with the cast. “Chicago” runs until Oct. 7 at the D-Cube Art Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 110,000 won. For tickets and more information, call 1544-1555.

“La Cage aux Folles”: Award-winning musical star Jung Sung-hwa (“Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Hero: the Musical”) is returning as a gay man in the first Korean run of the 1983 Broadway musical “La Cage aux Folles.” The six-time Tony Award-winning musical pivots around the story of gay couple Georges, who owns a nightclub called “La Cage aux Folles,” and Albin, the star drag queen of his partner’s club. Its plot develops as Jean-Michel, Georges’ son from an affair with a woman some 20 years before, gets engaged. Things get complicated as Jean-Michel wants to bring his fiance Anne and her extremely conservative parents to meet his father and Albin. Jung, who previously starred as a gay character in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is returning as the drag queen Albin, while another musical heavyweight, Nam Kyung-ju, stars as his partner Georges. The role of Jean-Michel is being performed by K-pop band 2AM member Lee Chang-min and rising TV actor Lee Min-ho. “La Cage aux Folles” runs until Sept. 4 at LG Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. The show is restricted to those aged 13 or older. For more information, call 1566-7527.


“Dung-seob, Go to Renaissance!”: Seoul Museum, a private museum founded by pharmacy business magnate and art collector Ahn Byung-gwang, holds its inaugural exhibition focusing on Korea’s modern painters such as Lee Jung-seob, Han Mook and Park Ko-suk from Aug. 29-Nov. 21.
The exhibition sheds light on painters who were active in the 1950s to 1970s and contributed to the cultural renaissance in Korea. Along with the special exhibition, another exhibition featuring some top names such as abstract painter Yoo Young-guk, media artist Paik Nam June and female painter Chun Kyung-ja will be held throughout the year. Seoul Museum is located in Buam-dong, northern Seoul. For more information, call (02) 395-0100 or visit
“Bull” by Lee Jung-seob (Seoul Museum) “Bull” by Lee Jung-seob (Seoul Museum)

“Playground”: The annual thematic exhibition at Arko Art Center in Daehangno, Seoul, portrays different aspects of anxiety in Korea under the theme of “Playground” till Sept. 28. It features works by nine artists, illustrating the anxiety-ridden state of contemporary Korean society through painting, video, sculpture and installation. The works do not flat out express anxiety, but rather show the mental state through subjects that look awkward and uncomfortable. Admission is free. Guided tours are available at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, call (02) 760-4850, visit

“Nostalgia is an extended feedback”: Nam June Paik Art Center holds a retrospective of pioneering video artist Paik Nam June until Jan. 20 next year in celebration of Paik’s 80th birthday. The exhibition features his major works as well as works by other artists who share Paik’s artistic goals that shed light on Paik’s philosophy that combines man, machine and nature. Major works displayed at the exhibition include “The Rehabilitation of Genghis Kahn,” an assemblage of a TV set, a bicycle and other materials made into a human-like form, “Marco Polo,” a human-form robot riding a car, and “Happy Hoppi,” a depiction of a Native American on a scooter wearing a glowing headdress and holding a bow and arrow. The art center is located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. For more information, visit or call (031) 201-8571.

“Best Wishes, Auspicious Symbols in Chinese Art”: In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Korea-China diplomatic relations, the National Museum of Korea is holding a special exhibition featuring some 100 Chinese artifacts used to wish good fortune. The pieces have been selected from collections from different museums and private individuals. Titled “Best Wishes, Auspicious Symbols in Chinese Art,” the exhibition’s featured items include handicrafts decorated with images of Daoist immortals and auspicious animals, such as bats and dragons, with messages such as “Wealth and Honor,” “Living Ten Thousand Years” and “Prosperity of Descendants.” The messages well reflect the wishes of the ancient Chinese people, who yearned for longevity and happiness. Happiness and longevity continue to be two of the foremost wishes of the Chinese people today, according to the museum. The exhibition runs until Sept. 23 at the museum’s Chinese Art Gallery. For more information, call (02) 2077-9558.

“The Civilizations of Turkey: Emperors in Istanbul”: National Museum of Korea’s special exhibition, “The Civilization of Turkey: Emperors in Istanbul” offers a rare opportunity for Seoulites to see exquisite collections of Turkish relics. A total of 184 artifacts are showcased in four different sections, categorized by the time periods: The ancient Anatolian civilizations, the Greek and Roman Civilizations, the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). The most fascinating of the exhibits are, undoubtedly, the relics from the Ottoman Empire. The exhibition runs until Sept. 2 at the Special Exhibition Gallery of the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000.


“2012 Daegu International Body Painting Festival”: The international body painting festival will be held at Kolon Outdoor Music Stage of Duryu Park in Daegu from Sept. 1-2. The festival will award artists in body painting and make-up and best model categories. Visitors can watch artists performing for an award in each category on Sept. 1. They can also try body painting, nail art and the temporary henna tattoo. Winners of each category will be announced on Sept. 2, followed by an award ceremony. The two-day festival will end with fireworks and cultural performances including rock concert and dance performance. For more information, visit
A model poses at a previous Daegu International Body Painting Festival. (DIBF) A model poses at a previous Daegu International Body Painting Festival. (DIBF)

“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 literature 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. For more information, call (033) 335-2323 or visit

“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 during the festival, which will allow both the performers and the audience to enjoy the freedom of expression and selection. A total of 76 teams will put on 180 performances in various indoor and outdoor performance venues like small theaters, live clubs, galleries, and streets near Hongik University in western Seoul. The festival runs from Aug. 15-Sept. 1. For more information call (02) 325-8150 or go to

“Goesan Red Pepper Festival”: The 2012 Goesan Red Pepper Festival will be held during the red pepper harvest season in Goesan, North Chungcheong Province, from Aug. 30-Sept. 2. The festival will offer various programs including pepper-picking and bare hand fishing contest, and a cooking contest using Goesan red peppers. A variety of cultural programs such as children’s play, music concerts, B-boy dance and traditional performances will be held at different venues in Goesan county including the Sports Complex, Mini Football Field and Culture and Sports Center. Launched in 2001, the festival promotes the quality and excellence of red pepper produced in Goesan, known as the major red pepper production area in Korea. The festival starts on Aug. 30 and ends on Sept. 2. For more information, visit or call (043) 830-3461.


“Talk to Igor” and “The Last Supper”: Korea National Contemporary Dance Company is staging newly-created performances choreographed by two prominent local artists. One is Jeon Mi-sook’s “Talk to Igor,” which delves into the theme of modern marriage. The piece has been choreographed by Jeon to the music of Stravinsky. Choreographer Chung Eui-sook, on the other hand, has been inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s 15th century mural “The Last Supper” to create a piece of the same title. Twelve dancers will star as the 12 apostles, and express their reaction to Jesus’ announcement that one of them would betray him. The performances will run from Sept. 8-9 at Theater YONG, which is located in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. Tickets cost 15,000 won. 
A scene from Jiri Kylian “Petite Mort,” which is being featured at Seoul International Ballet Festival (Seoul International Ballet Festival) A scene from Jiri Kylian “Petite Mort,” which is being featured at Seoul International Ballet Festival (Seoul International Ballet Festival)

“Seoul International Ballet Festival”: The Korea Ballet Association is hosting the 2012 Seoul International Ballet Festival. Dancers from renowned ballet companies, including the Innsbruck Tanz Company and Korea’s Universal Ballet Company will be featured during the upcoming event. Up-and-coming dancers from all over the world ― including Izmir National Ballet’s Burcu Olguner, and Portuguese Contemporary Ballet Company’s Patricia Henriques ― will also perform for the festival’s “Young Star Classic” gala program. The event runs from Aug. 23 to Sept. 1 at the Arko Arts Theater in Seoul. For more information, call (02) 538-0505 or visit

Classical Music

“Chang Han-na’s Absolute Classic”: Chang Han-na, cellist and conductor, hosts “Chang Han-na’s Absolute Classic,” an annual musical event held in the city of Seongnam, south of Seoul, starting Aug. 18. The Absolute Classic Festival Orchestra ― comprised entirely of young audition winners ― is to hold three separate concerts for this third annual musical event, on Aug. 18, Aug. 25 and on Sept. 1 at Seongnam Art Center in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. At the second concert, Chang’s orchestra and her teacher Mischa Maisky will perform Richard Strauss’ “Don Quixote” Op. 35. Under the slogan “Music and Story,” Chang will hold a discussion with the audience on her musical world and the stories behind the repertoires she selected for the three concerts. Tickets for the Aug. 25 concert are free while others range in price from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call 1544-8117 or visit
Chang Han-na and Absolute Classic Festival Orchestra (Seongnam Arts Center) Chang Han-na and Absolute Classic Festival Orchestra (Seongnam Arts Center)

“Park Concert ― Piano Paradiso”: Three New Age pianists from Korea, Canada and Japan ― Yiruma, Steve Barakatt and Yuhki Kuramoto ― will open the autumn with an outdoor concert at the Olympic Park in Seoul on Sept. 8. The three artists who all have strong fan base here will perform their No. 1 hits. Kuramoto will perform “Lake Louise” and “Romance” while Barakatt presents “Rainbow Bridge” and “The Whistler’s Song” which were featured in TV dramas and commercials. Yiruma will also perform “When the Love Falls” which was featured in the hit drama “Winter Sonata.” Tickets are 20,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit

“La Boheme”: An outdoor production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” featuring two world stars ― opera diva Angela Gheorghiu and maestro Chung Myung-whun ― is coming to Seoul this summer. The opera will be staged at the Amphitheater at Yonsei University in Seoul on Aug. 28 - Sept. 2. Based on Henri Murger’s novel “La Vie de Boheme,” the opera in four acts portrays young artists living in the Latin quarters in Paris in the mid-19th century. The opera mainly tells the unfortunate love story between young poet Rodolfo and Mimi, which ends with Mimi’s tragic death. In addition, Gheorghiu and other famous European opera singers such as Fiorenza Cedolines, Vittorio Grigolo and Marcello Giordani will play the title roles. Tickets range from 30,000 to 570,000 won. Call 1544-1555 or 1544-6399 for reservations.