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By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 14, 2012 - 20:10

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Pop music

“Bobby Kim & Kim Tae-woo Two Man Show”: Bobby Kim is known for being the first artist to introduce reggae music to Korea, while Kim Tae-woo first gained fame as the lead singer of group g.o.d. The two soulful singers will present their two-man show on Christmas Day at COEX Hall D in Seoul, at 4 and 8 p.m. Tickets range from 66,000 won to 121,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

“K.Will Megahits Concert”: The soulful ballad singer, vocal coach, dancer, songwriter, composer and actor will be hosting three live shows from Dec. 24-26 at Ehwa Womans University auditorium. The artist is best known for his strong vocals and has been featured on a number of drama soundtracks including “The King of Two Hearts” and “Arang and the Magistrate.” K.Will won the Best Solo Vocal Performance award at the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards for his single, “I Need You.” Tickets to the shows range from 99,000 won to 110,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

“2012 J.Y. PARK Live Concert ― Bad Jazz Bar”: Park Jin-young, the singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and the CEO of K-pop record label JYP Entertainment, is holding his first concert in two years. The concert will be held in SK Handball Stadium at Seoul Olympic Park from Dec. 28-31. The upcoming concert’s theme, “Bad Party,” has been a global sensation and will feature even more provocative performances with a 15-member brass band and chorus. Tickets range from 77,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
Hip-hop icon 50 Cent will hold a concert for the first time in Seoul on Jan. 12 in the Gymnastics Stadium at Olympic Park. (50 Cent) Hip-hop icon 50 Cent will hold a concert for the first time in Seoul on Jan. 12 in the Gymnastics Stadium at Olympic Park. (50 Cent)

“50 Cent Live in Seoul”: The iconic American rap star, actor and entrepreneur 50 Cent will be holding his first ever concert in Seoul. The rapper rose to stardom with his 2003 album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” which sold 872,000 copies in its first week and was certified eight times platinum. 50 Cent was also ranked the sixth-best artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine. The concert will be held on Jan. 12 in the Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium starting at 8 p.m. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 150,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.

Classical music

Novus Quartet’s “Nordic and Russian”: The Novus Quartet, consisting of the graduates of the Korea National University of Arts, will hold its fifth regular concert, “Nordic & Russian,” at the IBK Chamber Hall of Seoul Arts Center on Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. This is the group’s first performance in Korea after it was placed second at the 61st ARD International Music Competition 2012. The evening’s program includes Sibelius Andante Festivo; Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3 in F Major Op. 73 and Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major Op. 11. Tickets are priced from 20,000 won to 35,000 won and are available at www.sacticket.co.kr or www.interpark.com. For more information, call (02) 3240-3816. 
Novus Quartet’s “Nordic and Russian”(SQUARE PIG Entertainment) Novus Quartet’s “Nordic and Russian”(SQUARE PIG Entertainment)

Ji Yong Exhibition: Pianist Ji Yong will hold his nationwide recital from later this month through January. His Seoul recital will be held on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall. Prior to that, he will be performing at Seongnam Arts Center on Dec. 28; Daejeon Culture and Arts Center on Dec. 30 and at Goyang Aramnuri on Jan. 12. He will perform Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven as well as Bach. Some of the pieces in the program are also in his latest “mini” album, “Bach Exhibition,” containing Fantasia in C Minor, BWV906; “Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue” and Bach/Busoni Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004. Ji Yong shot to international stardom when he became the youngest ever to win the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Competition in 2001 at the age of 11. Since then, he has performed with world-class artists and orchestras around the world. As part of the Exhibition project, he also took charge of choreography, production and editing of his mini album’s music video. Tickets are priced from 30,000-70,000 won. Reservations can be made at www.sacticket.co.kr and www.clubbalcony.co.kr. For more information call (02) 318-4301.

Richard Yongjae O’Neill & Dong-Hyek Lim Duo Recital: Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill and pianist Lim Dong-hyek are holding a recital on Dec. 18 at Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall featuring Schubert’s Moment Musicaux Op. 94 and Arpeggione Sonata; Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” and cello sonata. O’Neill is a member of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and a residence violist at the Camerata Pacifica. Lim made headlines when he placed second at the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in 1996 at the age of 12. The duo is also performing at Ulsan Hyundai Heavy Industries Culture and Arts Center on Dec. 14; Daegu Culture and Arts Center Palgong Hall on Dec. 16; Yongin Poeun Art Hall in Gyeonggi Province on Dec. 23 and Bupyeong Arts Center on Dec. 27. Tickets are priced from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. Reservations are available at 1577-5266. For more information, call (02) 741-1523.

Christmas Party, “Opera LaBoheme”: Artspool Culture Foundation is staging Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” at SETEC center in southern Seoul at 8 p.m. on Dec. 20-25. Kim Dong-kyu, one of the most popular baritones in Korea, will take the lead role of Marcello alongside Maria Pia Ionata playing Mimi and Valter Borin taking the role of Rodolfo. A 54 square-meter stage will be set up for the opera, reenacting the lavishing Christmas party in Paris. The opera comes in a package with the Walkerhill Wine Buffet or French Dinner Course or a night-stay at the Walkerhill Hotel. Another package offers a one-night stay at the Walkerhill Hotel on the date of one’s choice. Tickets are priced from 40,000 won without meals to 401,000 won for the most expensive package. For more information call (02) 518-2266.


Theater

“King Rear”: Director Koh Sun-woong, best known for his 2011 work “Azure Day,” is returning with a parallel version of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy “King Lear.” The show is titled “King Rear,” because the king literally carries his belongings in a handcart after losing all of his wealth and house to his cruel daughters in this version. Handcarts are often referred to as “rear-cars” in Korea. The play takes place in the modern world, though it’s unclear whether the characters are living in the U.K. or in Korea. However, there are many references to Korean concepts such as “hyo,” or filial duty, as Koh explores the relationship between the king and his children. “King Rear” runs until Dec. 28 at LG Arts Center in central Seoul. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114. 
The official poster of “King Rear” (LG Arts Center) The official poster of “King Rear” (LG Arts Center)

“Romeo and Juliet”: The National Theater of Korea and the National Theatre of Company of China is co-staging Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet” with a Korean cast and a Chinese director. In the upcoming show, the famous coming-of-age tale takes place during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and the two young souls are torn between two very different political thoughts and families. The show is directed by Tian Qinxin, one of the very few female theater directors in China. The show is being performed by an all-Korean cast, in the Korean language. “Romeo and Juliet” runs from Dec. 20 to 29 at the National Theater of Korea in Jangchung-dong, Seoul. Tickets cost 20,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.

“Assassins”: Film and theater actor Hwang Jeong-min (“Happiness,” “Dancing Queen”) is making his debut as a musical director this month. The show is the Korean adaptation of American musical “Assassins.” The five-time Tony Award winner features the real-life men and women who attempted to assassinate U.S. presidents. The figures include John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, and Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate President Ford. Hwang stars as Charles Guiteau, President James Garfield’s assassin, in his own show. “Assassins” runs from Nov. 20 to Feb. 3 of next year at Doosan Art Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, call (02) 744-4033.

“Thursday Romance”: Veteran actor and actress Jo Jae-hyun and Bae Jong-ok, who have mostly worked in TV and film, are co-starring in a theater production this winter. The play, titled “Thursday Romance,” tells the story of ex-lovers in their 50s who remain friends for many years. They’ve been through almost everything together as friends, except marriage and kids. In the show, Bae plays Yeon-ok, a retired journalist who used to write about international issues and conflicts, while actor Jo plays Jeong-min, a respected scholar of history. The plot of the play develops as Jeong-min one day suggests he and Yeon-ok have “weekly discussion sessions” every Thursday, talking about different themes each week; the themes include courage, history, death, the act of writing, and memories. As the two talk about the given themes each week, they rediscover feelings for each other, as well as their misunderstandings and mistakes in the past. “Thursday Romance” runs from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30 at Jayu Theater of Seoul Arts Center. Tickets range from 35,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 580-1300.

Dance

“Christmas in Busan Festival”: Gigantic Christmas trees and illuminations will light the streets of downtown Busan every night for about 40 days. About 90 trees have been installed along a 1.16-km section from the entrance of Gwangbogno to Chamseon Samgeori. The facades of large buildings are also decorated with Christmas trees. Various performances including music, plays, dance and magic shows will be held during the festival period. The festival runs through Jan. 6 at Gwangbogno Street in Busan. For more information, visit the website at www.btcf.kr or call (051) 759-7144.

“Pocheon Dongjangkun Festival”: The annual winter festival in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, hosts various family winter activities such as trout ice fishing, sledding and kite flying in Baekun Valley. The festival will exhibit ice sculptures and hold a light show that will make beautiful reflections on the sculptures. Traditional Korean snacks such as baked potatoes and sweet potatoes with red bean soup will be served to visitors. The festival runs from Dec. 29-Jan. 27. For more information, call (031) 535-7242, or visit www.dongjangkun.co.kr. 
Ice fishing at a previous Pyeongchang Trout Festival (Pyeongchang Trout Festival) Ice fishing at a previous Pyeongchang Trout Festival (Pyeongchang Trout Festival)

“PyeongChang Trout Festival”: Pyeongchang, host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics, is also famous for the annual traditional ice fishing festival, which takes place in Jinbu-myeon from Dec. 22-Feb. 3, 2013. The festival offers a variety of programs including ice fishing for trout, catching trout with bare hands, and many winter sports activities such as sledding and skating. Visitors can also try unique vehicles such as ice bicycles and sleigh trains. Fishing costs 13,000 won; fishing at tents 20,000 won; sled, ice bike and skates rentals 6,000 won. For more information, visit festival700.or.kr or call (033) 336-4000.

Exhibitions

“Digital Humanity”: Media artist Jin Si-yon’s solo exhibition at Jean Gallery presents a comprehensive selection of Jin’s work using lights, mainly LEDs. Light has been an important medium that connects technology and humanity for Jin. By incorporating various technologies using LED lights and motion sensors, he elevates video images on flat screens to three-dimensional forms and moving sculptures. The 41-year-old artist adds an “analog” sentiment to his digital art forms by painting the lights and incorporating traditional Korean craft. The exhibition continues through Jan. 10 at Jean Gallery in Jongno, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 738-7570.

“Claes Oldenburg and van Bruggen Retrospective”: The retrospective exhibition of pop art sculptors Claes Oldenburg and the late Coosje van Bruggen presents a comprehensive selection of works created throughout their lifetime at PKM Trinity Gallery in Seoul until Jan. 15. The exhibition features large-scale indoor sculptures of musical instruments, food and everyday objects, as well as drawings and prints, including sketches for “Spring,” the iconic sculptor standing in Cheonggye Stream in Seoul. The works are not only displayed at the gallery in Gangnam, but can also be viewed at Times Square, the entertainment and shopping complex in Yeongdeungpo. For more information, call (02) 515-9496.

“Seoul Photo Festival”: The Seoul Photo Festival will showcase photographs taken by professional photographers as well as citizens that offer glimpses into life in old Seoul. Photographs will be grouped into four categories based on what each represents in a certain time period and exhibited at three venues in Seoul: the Seoul Museum of Art, the principal exhibition venue of the festival; the lobby of the new Seoul City Hall; and the Seoul Museum of History. The exhibition runs from Nov. 21-Dec. 30. Admission is free. For more information, call 070-8240-9902 or visit www.seoulphotofestival.com.
Visitors view photos on display at “Seoul Photo Festival” at the Seoul Museum of Art on Nov. 21. The photo exhibition runs through Dec. 30. (Yonhap News) Visitors view photos on display at “Seoul Photo Festival” at the Seoul Museum of Art on Nov. 21. The photo exhibition runs through Dec. 30. (Yonhap News)

“Last Princess Deokhye”: A special exhibition at the National Palace Museum of Korea, “Last Princess Deokhye,” running through Jan. 27, highlights the tragic life of the last princess of Joseon (1392-1910) and looks into the lifestyle of upper-class women of that time. Some 108 items including Deokhye’s clothes and other belongings are displayed for the first time ― 63 of them are on loan from the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan and 16 from Kyushu National Museum, also in Japan, while others were collected from different places in Korea. The exhibition organizers expect that through Deokhye’s keepsakes, visitors will also be able to learn the lifestyle of infants, youths and young women in the early 20th century.Admission is free of charge. The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed every Monday. For more information, call (02) 3701-7641.

Dance

“Ah Q”: Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC) is once again staging their 2006 repertoire “Ah Q,” this time at the National Theater of Korea. The piece, which is partly based on Chinese writer Lu Xin’s 1921 novella “The True Story of Ah Q,” was first premiered at LG Arts Center in 2006. The original literary work tells the story of Ah Q, a man who was born to rural passant parents and received little education. The dance piece is choreographed by local artist Hong Seung-yeop, and explores the theme of human struggles and conditions of survival. The piece was previously featured at Singapore Art Festival in 2008. “Ah Q” runs from Dec. 27 to 30 at the National Theater of Korea in Jangchung-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 15,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3472-1421.

A scene from “Ah Q” by Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC) A scene from “Ah Q” by Korea National Contemporary Dance Company (KNCDC)

“The Nutcracker”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is getting ready to attract fans with its popular rendition of “The Nutcracker.” First performed by UBC in 1986, the show is based on 19th-century German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann’s version of the story and French ballet choreographer Marius Petipa’s dance. UBC has cast 10 of its finest dancers, including principal dancers Hwang Hye-min, Kang Ye-na and Eom Jae-yong. The show, which tells the story of a young girl’s favorite Christmas toy coming alive and whisking her away to a magical kingdom, is one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballets. The show runs from Dec. 21 to 31 at Universal Art Center in Neung-dong, eastern Seoul. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 200,000 won. For more information, call (070) 7124-1737.

“Spring Days Go By”: Korea’s veteran traditional dancer and choreographer Kim Mae-ja is having a special performance celebrating her 60-year career. Kim, who founded Changmu Arts Center in 1976, is considered a key figure in Korea’s traditional dance scene. She is noted for her creative works that successfully combined the country’s traditional dance with modern touches and techniques. The upcoming show features Kim and 30 of her student dancers, and explores the theme of light ― which has been a life-long inspiration for Kim’s works. An artwork created by architect In Ui-sik, which features the theme of light, will be on display at the venue’s lobby. “Spring Days Go By” runs from Dec. 14-16 at Arko Art Center in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 337-5961.