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Matthew Bourne’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ Simon Stone’s Korean production in LG Arts Center’s stellar lineup

Discount packages start Tuesday

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Jan. 7, 2024 - 17:31

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Opened in October 2022, LG Arts Center Seoul last year celebrated the first anniversary of its relocation to Magok, Gangseo-gu, from Gangnam, attracting audiences totaling 290,000 over the year.

The center recently unveiled the lineup for its contemporary music and performing arts series, "CoMPAS24," featuring 12 shows in dance, classical music and theater, with world-renowned artists from around the globe.

Matthew Bourne's Matthew Bourne's "Romeo and Juliet" (LG Arts Center)

Among the standout names headlining the season are renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne and acclaimed director Simon Stone.

Hailed as “the most popular and successful choreographer in the world” by The Times, Bourne returns to Korea after four years with the latest contemporary dance piece, “Romeo and Juliet,” in May.

Reimagining Shakespeare’s timeless tragic romance and Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet music, Bourne transforms "Romeo and Juliet" into a tale of raw passion and vitality of youth fiercely resisting established norms.

In another reinterpretation of a classic, playwright and director Simon Stone reinterprets Chekhov’s tragicomedy “The Cherry Orchard” as a story of Koreans, from June 4 to July 7.

The narrative will explore the changes awaiting those who return to Seoul after decades, with the city barely recognizable and people no longer afraid of authority, according to the LG Arts Center.

James Thierree's James Thierree's "Room" (LG Arts Center)

Innovative French artists take center stage

James Thierree, known as the grandson of Charlie Chaplin and a circus luminary, is making his debut in Korea with his most recent work, “Room,” in April.

Designed to embrace chaos of all sorts, the show takes the audience on a surreal voyage blurring the lines between reality and dreams. Thierree will showcase his multifaceted talents as a writer, director, composer, as well as an actor, dancer, musician and singer.

Choreographer-director Philippe Decoufle presents "Shazam!" in October, a performance that blends circus, dance and music. Since its premiere in 1998, the show has been performed more than 200 times worldwide.

Playwright and director Joel Pommerat is making his first visit to Korea in November. His episodic theater work, "Tales and Legends," cynically explores human society, questioning the evolving relationship between young people and AI.

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (LG Arts Center) Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (LG Arts Center)

5 classical concerts

The CoMPAS24 lineup also features a series of classical performances by renowned artists from around the globe.

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, one of Germany’s major period instrument ensembles, presents J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, in April.

In May, Baroque violinist Fabio Biondi collaborates with plucked-string specialist Giangiacomo Pinardi for an intimate chamber music recital featuring Niccolo Paganini’s sonatas for violin and guitar.

Cellist Gautier Capucon and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet from France join forces for a performance together in October.

Maestro John Eliot Gardiner returns to Korea after 23 years in October, leading his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR) in a project performing Beethoven's all nine symphonies across four venues in Korea. Symphonies No. 2 and 3 will be performed at LG Arts Center.

Pianist Paik Kun-woo takes the stage in November with a new recital program featuring some of Mozart’s sonatas and fantasies.

“Melies Illusion” (LG Arts Center) “Melies Illusion” (LG Arts Center)

Discount packages await enthusiasts

South Korean illusionist Lee Eun-gyeol presents “Melies Illusion,” in November, a special show inspired by French magician-filmmaker Georges Melies, who pioneered the use of special effects in films.

The Oscar-winning film “The Lives of Others” ("Das Leben der Anderen") comes to life on stage, directed by Son Sang-kyu, closing the season in late November.

Tickets for various packages for CoMPAS 24 go on sale starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The “Free Choice Package” allows audiences to customize their package, with a 25 percent discount for selecting eight or more shows.

The “French Imagination Package,” limited to the first 100 sets sold, offers a 15 percent discount for purchasing all three French shows.

The “Double Package” combining theater and dance, offers a 25 percent discount for purchasing all seven shows, excluding the five classic performances.

For additional details, visit LG Arts Center’s official website.