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Performing arts festival goes for-pay online

“Waning Crescent, or the Way You Remember the World” by Dong Theatre Company (Lee Kang-mool)
“Waning Crescent, or the Way You Remember the World” by Dong Theatre Company (Lee Kang-mool)

The 2020 Seoul Performing Arts Festival will be a contactless event, connecting with audiences at home via livestream.

The SPAF, organized by the Korea Arts Management Service under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is an annual festival held in the Daehagno neighborhood in central Seoul.

This year, however, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be streamed online. It will be the first major performing arts festival here to adopt a paid online streaming model.

The festival was originally slated to be held between Oct. 8 to 31. During the planned festival period, the shows will be recorded and edited. 

“Sense What They Feel” by Hwang Su-hyun (Lee Eui-rock)
“Sense What They Feel” by Hwang Su-hyun (Lee Eui-rock)

A total of 17 shows will be streamed online from Nov. 12 via Naver TV, a streaming platform operated by the portal giant.

Audiences can pay for the shows using the platform’s sponsorship feature, for a minimum of 5,000 won ($4.38). Those who donate will receive merchandise related to the event, along with access to the shows.

The dance performance “Gala” by French contemporary choreographer Jerome Bel is the only foreign work of the show. Bel, a renowned dancer himself, will participate in the editing process through online live chat.

Acts Creative VaQi from Korea and Residenztheater from Germany will co-produce a simultaneous play. The actors will play their roles simultaneously, even though they are 10,000 kilometers apart from each other. 

“I am Twenty Years Old” by Ahn Eun Me Company (Kim Sung-hyup)
“I am Twenty Years Old” by Ahn Eun Me Company (Kim Sung-hyup)
 
Ahn Eun Me Company, led by inconic dancer Ahn will present show “I am Twenty Years Old.” The show will be recorded on stage and at other sites at the theater, too.

“It is unfortunate that the SPAF cannot welcome an in-person audience. This, however, may be a new attempt and an opportunity to bring the process from performance production to online screening as part of the whole festival,” an official from the Korea Arts Management Service said.

A more detailed schedule for the 2020 SPAF will be released in the second week of October. For more information, check the SPAF official website at www.spaf.or.kr or call (02) 2098-2986.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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