Experiencing Australian Culture in Seoul

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Experiencing Australian Culture in Seoul

A festival introducing Koreans to various aspects of Australian culture will open in Seoul this month.

The Australian Embassy in Seoul has held such a festival every year since 1992 to publicize the Sydney Olympics and promote Australian culture, which is less known to Koreans than that of America or Europe.

Every year the organizers have chosen a different theme for the festival such as travel, music or the environment.

This year, for the 'Australia Festival 2000', the Embassy has arranged special events such as 'a race for Seoulites' to celebrate the last 100 days before the opening of the 2000 Olympic Games.

'Expressions Dance Company', a dance troupe from Queensland, will perform for the first time in Korea at the large hall of Munye Theater from May 25 to May 28.

This dance troupe, founded in 1985, has performed its energetic and innovative pieces at various international dance festivals.

One female and two male dancers will visit Seoul along with artist-director Maggi Sietsma to perform 'Jigsaw' by the internationally-renowned Australian dance director Natalie Weir.

'Jigsaw' is a work expressing through dance the emotions and problems of people in modern society such as agoraphobia and anthrophobia.

Also at Munye Theater, on June 3 and June 5, there will be a joint performance of Australian music and Korean dance. Eight Korean dance directors will put on new pieces to the accompaniment of Australian music.

The performance will be a combination of modern dance, ballet and Korean dance with traditional music of Australia taken from 31 CD collections provided by the Australia Music Center.

It will be the first time that Australian music has been used to accompany dance in Korea and the combination of traditional Australian music and Korea dance is much anicipated.

The main event of the festival will be the 'citizens' race'. To celebrate the last 100 days before the opening of the Olympics, a race for Sydney citizens will be held in Sydney's Olympic Park on June 7 and a race for Korean citizens covering a five kilometer course around the Chamsil Olympic Park will be held on June 11.

"We plan to give away over 200 gift certificates including trips to Australia in a raffle for race participants. I also hope that people in Seoul get to experience Australian culture through this festival." said the Australia ambassador in Seoul, Tony Hely.

Exhibition of Australian children's books / until May 14 / Kyobo bookstore and Australia Center

Exhibition of Australian productions / May 12  ̄ 21 / Samsung Plaze in Pundang
May 26  ̄ June 1/ Shinsegae Department Store in Inchon

Australian food event / May 11  ̄ 30 / Australian Grill at the Intercontinental Hotel

Australian music event / May 19  ̄ 20 / KBS-1FM(radio)

Expressions Dance Company / May 26, 28 / large hall of Munye Theater

Australian horse racing / May 28 / Seoul race course in Kwachon

Korean dance and Australian music collaborative performance / June 3, 5 / large hall of Munye theater

Race for Seoul citizens / June 11 / Chamshil Olympic Park

by Park So-yong

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